Times are tough for job seekers. But they’re even tougher for those who have served their country in uniform. If you’re a transitioning veteran and you’ve tried sending out resumes and endured endless lectures from recruiters on how you should best approach finding a job, there’s another resource available to you. One that pays you to train for the job you want.
It’s called the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP). And it’s specifically designed to help veterans who are enrolled in a VA-approved program of education. These programs are typically offered by a community or junior college, or technical school. The program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certificate, and train you for a high demand occupation. Refer to the long list of High Demand Occupations.
With college costs, fees and text books rising almost on a monthly basis, you need all the help you can get. Which is why VRAP pays up to 12 months at the full-time Montgomery GI Bill rate (active duty pay rate of over $1,473 per month). To participate in VRAP, you must meet certain specific qualifications:
- You must be at least 35 years old, but no more than 60.
- You must be currently unemployed.
- You must have been honorably discharged (no dishonorable discharge).
- You must not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program.
- You must not be getting any VA compensation due to un-employability.
- You must not be enrolled in a federal or state job-training program.
If you want to take full advantage of VRAP, you should get moving and take action now. VRAP is limited to only 45,000 participants nationwide--from July 1, 2012, through September 30, 2012; and 54,000 participants from October 1, 2012, through March 31, 2014. Another benefit of VRAP is that the Department of Labot will offer employment assistance to every Veteran who participates when they successfully complete the program.
The program begins July 1, 2012. VRAP applications are being accepted now. Visit eBenefits to apply. To complete the application, you’ll need to know your direct deposit information (bank routing number and account number), the name and location of your school, the program you wish to pursue, and the applicable high-demand occupation.
All I can say is, finally, some much needed financial help for veterans who served their country honorably. There are many other veterans programs you can take advantage of, so check with your college guidance counselor for the one that best meets your career needs.