OSUIT Ready to Help Unemployed Veterans
Many veterans are having a tough time find ing jobs once they leave the service. Unemployment rates are higher than average for vets, and one answer to the problem may be a new program designed to increase education benefits for those veterans who have used up their G.I. Bill funds and are still trying to find work.
The program is called the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (), and it provides up to 12 months of higher education assistance. At Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology (OSUIT) in Okmulgee, Ina Agnew, Vice President for Enrollment Management, says a technical college may be the quickest route for unemployed veterans to get educated and get a job.
“A college such as OSUIT offers direct-to-workforce degrees and industry certifications, which make our graduates much more competitive in their search for employment,” says Agnew. “We also have counselors who can help veterans analyze their military work history and determine how much of that would count towards college credit.”
The program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It is limited to 45,000 participants from July 1, 2012 through September 30, 2012, and to 54,000 participants from October 1, 2012, through March 31, 2014. Participants may receive up to 12 months of assistance at the full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill—Active duty program (currently $1,473 per month). The program must lead to an associate degree, non-college degree, or a certification and train the veteran for a high demand occupation.
Agnew points out that OSUIT offers a number of Associate in Applied Science degrees in fields ranging from network security to heavy equipment and automotive maintenance, manufacturing, graphic design, nursing, health sciences, air conditioning and construction.
“Our graduates are in high demand; most have a job lined up before they graduate. Plus, the college learning experience and earned certifications usually put them ahead of most new employees,” says Agnew. “On top of that, we are a three-semester, year-round college, so a veteran looking for a good job may be ready to start employment in as little as a year.”
offers 12 months of retraining assistance to veterans who are:
• At least 35 but no more than 60 years old
• Have an other than dishonorable discharge
• Not eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g., the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill, Montgomery G.I. Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment.
• Not in receipt of VA compensation due to Individual Unemployability
• Not enrolled in a federal or state job training program
• Enrolled in a VA approved program of education
Visit www.gibill.va.gov/VRAP to learn more and read frequently asked questions about .