VA Announces Vet Job Retraining Funds; Eric Shinseki Comments

The Veterans Affairs Department plans to fund eligible veterans’ educational training for high-demand jobs, the agency announced Wednesday.

VA and the Labor Department opened the Veteran Retraining Assistance Program up for applications on Tuesday in order to retrain 99,000 veterans to meet and qualify for job demands.

Program funding will cover up to 12 months of educational programs for qualifying veterans equal to the full-time Montgomery GI Bill – Active Duty rate, currently at $1,473 per month.

VA Secretary Erin Shinseki said the program will help train veterans so they can help businesses and grow the economy.

Veterans between 35 and 60 years old that are not dishonorably discharged and are not eligible for the VA’s other educational benefit programs can apply for VRAP to fund training programs that begin on or after July 1.

According to the announcement, veterans who receive full VA compensation for unemployment and who have been enrolled in federal or state job training within the last 180 days are ineligible.

After completing a retraining program through VRAP, the Labor Department will then help participants within 30 days to find a job where they can apply their new skill sets, the VA said.

Assistance under the benefit program ends March 31, 2014 and the VA encouraged veterans to visit the program website or to call VA call centers for additional information.

Shinseki recently told the House Veterans Affairs Committee that VA is planning to hire more mental health staff in addition to the 1,900 positions the VA said it was creating in April.

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