Military veterans aged 35-60 may qualify for a new educational retraining program created as part of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.
That legislation includes the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), a joint program of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Department of Labor to provide training to military veterans unable to find work. Northwest Technical College, recognized as a “military friendly school” by G.I. Jobs each of the last four years, offers several VA-approved high-demand programs that are available on campus or online for veterans interested in pursuing education under the VRAP.
The program will provide 12 months of training assistance equal to the monthly full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty program, which currently pays $1,473 per month. Participants must be enrolled in a program approved for VA benefits offered at a community college or technical school, and in a program that leads to an associate’s degree, a non-college degree or a certificate.
To qualify for the VRAP, veterans must:
• be between 35 and 60 years old,
• be unemployed on the day of application,
• not have been 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 Assistance,
• not be receiving unemployability compensation from the VA,
• not already be enrolled in a federal or state job training program.
In addition, veterans participating in the program must pursue a higher education program that leads to employment in a high-demand occupation, as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The program is limited to 45,000 participants nationwide between July 1-Sept. 30. Opportunities for an additional 54,000 participants will be available from Oct. 1, 2012, to March 31, 2014. The U.S. Department of Labor will provide employment assistance to every veteran who participates and completes their program. Applications are accepted online; visit https://benefits.va.gov/gibill/ for more information.
For more information about educational programs available at NTC or about the VRAP, call (218) 333-6670. To arrange an NTC campus tour, call (800) 942-8324. More information about the college is available at http://www.ntcmn.edu.