Today, Chairman Jeff Miller (FL-01) introduced H.R. 562, the VRAP Extension Act of 2013. The bill would extend the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) through June 30, 2014, a move that would make it easier for program participants to finish job-training programs they have already started.
Originally created as part of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, VRAP provides up to 12 months of education benefits to unemployed veterans between the ages of 35- 60, a group comprising nearly two thirds of all unemployed veterans. As the law currently stands, VRAP is scheduled to expire March 31, 2014. The extension would allow veterans using VRAP to continue to receive funding through what is considered the traditional spring semester of 2014 at the institution where they are enrolled, making it easier for more participants to complete training while receiving VRAP benefits.
"VRAP is a tremendous opportunity for unemployed veterans to receive valuable training for in-demand jobs, and I encourage all eligible veterans to apply." said Miller. "The VRAP Extension Act of 2013 would simply extend the life of the program by another three months to help veterans finish training programs they have already started and continue receiving benefits during that time."
The bill would also require an interim report to Congress to measure VRAP's success in helping unemployed veterans find jobs.
"Before extending VRAP beyond 2014 or to additional participants, we need to have an honest conversation about its effectiveness, including the performance of the Veterans Employment and Training Service and the state workforce system in placing VRAP graduates. The interim report required under this bill would give Congress the information needed to decide whether extending VRAP makes sense for our veterans as well as American taxpayers," Miller said.
View the text of the bill here.