Today, Congresswoman Laura Richardson announces that the Department of Veteran Affairs is now accepting applications for the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), a new training and education program for unemployed veterans to improve and advance their skills for jobs that are in high demand.
VRAP is managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Labor and allows qualifying veterans to receive up to 12 months of job training and educational assistance, equal to the full-time Montgomery GI Bill -- Active Duty rate, currently $1,473.
"During my time in Congress, I have been a strong supporter of the VRAP Program, and have worked to secure funding for this program and others who aim to help our veterans," said Congresswoman Laura Richardson.
The goal of the VRAP Program is to get unemployed veterans trained and back in the job market.
"It is important for us to give back to our veterans -- who have given us so much," said Congresswoman Richardson. " Veterans today are having a harder time finding jobs than most Americans and unemployment among veterans is 13%, well above the national average. After sacrificing their time and putting their lives on the line for us, the least we can do is ensure them a job upon returning home," said Congresswoman Laura Richardson.
To be eligible for the program, a Veteran must:
Be 35-60 years old, unemployed on the day of application, and not dishonorably discharged;
Not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, or Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment;
Not be enrolled in a federal or state job-training program within the last 180 days; and
Not receive VA compensation at the 100% rate due to individual unemployability (IU).
The VA hopes to fill 45,000 application slots for the 2012 fiscal year before the September 30th deadline, but will continue to process new applications for the 54,000 slots available in the 2013 fiscal year.
Potential applicants can learn more about VRAP and apply online at www.benefits.va.gov/VOW, or call VA toll-free at 1-800-827-1000. Information about the Department of Labor's programs for Veterans is available at www.dol.gov/vets. Veterans can also visit the nearly 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers across the nation, listed at www.servicelocator.org, for in-person assistance.