Lansing—Governor Rick Snyder today urged eligible Michigan veterans to apply for a new federal program that will cover the cost of up to one year of training for in-demand jobs. To participate, a veteran must be between 35 and 60 years of age, unemployed, and enroll in training for one of more than 200 high-demand career options.
“Michigan industries are facing a shortage of skilled workers while too many of Michigan’s finest military veterans are unemployed,” said Governor Snyder. “This is a win for everyone, a great opportunity for unemployed veterans to prepare themselves for good jobs that bring Michigan businesses the trained workers they need to thrive.”
The Veteran Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) is a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) designed to provide short term job training for up to 99,000 veterans nationwide. A provision of the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, VRAP allows qualifying veterans to receive up to 12 months of assistance equal to the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty rate of $1,473 per month.
VRAP is now accepting applications from veterans on a first-come, first-serve basis for training programs beginning on or after July 1, 2012. To apply, click here or go to www.eBenefits.va.gov. Veterans will need their direct deposit information (bank routing number and account number), name and location of the school and training program, and a specific high-demand occupation from the DOL-approved list available here or www.gibill.va.gov/documents/VRAP_High_Demand.pdf.
To qualify, veterans must:
Be 35 to 60 years old, unemployed on the day of application and not dishonorably discharged.
Begin their training after July 1, 2012 in a VA-approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school leading to an associate degree, non-college degree or a certificate for a high-demand occupation as defined by DOL.
Not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g., Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment.)
Not be enrolled in a federal or state job training program within the last 180 days.
Not receive VA compensation at the 100 percent rate due to individual unemployability.
In addition to the 12 months of training, DOL will provide employment assistance to every veteran upon their completion of the program. VRAP is limited to a total of 99,000 total participants nationwide: 45,000 from July 1, 2012 through September 30, 2012, and up to 54,000 from October 1, 2012 through March 31, 2014.
Veterans who need assistance with their application or in determining which of the DOL-approved careers are considered high-demand in Michigan are encouraged to visit their local Michigan Works! Agency and make an appointment with their Local Veterans’ Employment Representatives (LVER) or Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Representative (DVOP). To find the nearest Michigan Works! Agency Service Center, click here or visit www.michiganworks.org/agencies.
“Thousands of Michigan veterans served our country honorably only to return home and struggle to support their families,” said General Robert W. Smith III, Major General US Army (Ret), Director of the Veterans’ Services Division of Michigan’s Workforce Development Agency. “The Veteran Retraining Assistance Program will give these unemployed vets a shot at a good job and a new start.”
For more information on Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 and VRAP, click here or visit www.benefits.va.gov/vow.