New federal veteran retraining initiative signed into law

For Immediate Release           
May 21, 2012
                                                                              
Contact: Ryan Mitchell
517-373-1777

New federal veteran retraining initiative signed into law

LANSING, Mich.—Last week, Congress took another step in reaffirming our nation’s commitment to our troops, past and present, through the creation of the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), announced state Sen. Mike Green.

The VRAP program is a part of the Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) Act of 2011, recently passed by Congress and signed into law. The program offers up to 12 months of training assistance to unemployed veterans who are not eligible under other circumstances. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Department of Labor are working together to roll out this new program on July 1, 2012.

“I applaud the United States Congress for taking a significant step toward providing all of our armed service veterans with support during this challenging economy,” said Green, R-Mayville. “VRAP will not only serve those who have served us by providing useful job training, it will focus that training on high-demand jobs in the private sector.”

VRAP offers up to 12 months of retraining assistance to veterans who meet the following minimum criteria:
•    Unemployed;
•    At least 35 but no more than 60 years old;
•    Have an other-than-dishonorable discharge;
•    Not eligible for any other VA education benefit programs (such as the Post‐9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, vocational rehabilitation and employment);
•    Not in receipt of VA compensation due to individual employability; and
•    Not enrolled in a federal or state job training program.
Veterans can apply for VRAP now for programs that begin on or after July 1, 2012. Participating veterans may receive up to 12 months of assistance equal to the full‐time Montgomery GI Bill with a current active duty rate of $1,473 per month. Assistance under this benefit program ends on March 31, 2014.

Programs must meet the following criteria to qualify for VRAP benefits:
•    Be offered by a community college or technical school;
•    Lead to an associate’s degree or certificate; and
•    Train the veteran for a high demand occupation.
In addition, unemployed veterans with a service‐connected disability may qualify for additional vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits.

“I am pleased that our elected leaders in Washington, D.C. can come together on behalf of our veterans by helping them achieve their employment goals,” Green said. “It’s the least we can do for folks who put their lives on the line for our freedom.”

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To obtain more information visit www.gibill.va.gov for more information about VRAP. Call
1-800-827-1000 to learn more information about the VOW to Hire Heroes act of 2011, or visit www.benefits.va.gov/vow.

http://www.misenategop.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=5123&District=31