Aiding Veterans

VETERANS’ contributions to our country cannot be underestimated, and a program now is under way to assist them.

What’s more, it comes at a time when such a program is needed, considering how the economy is making it difficult to obtain a job.

Through the Veterans Retaining Assistance Program, unemployed veterans in the 35-60 age group and interested in employment or a career change can obtain retraining in a wide variety of fields.

This program is part of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, and the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program offers up to 12 months of training assistance to unemployed veterans.

For interested veterans, it’s important to note the first wave of enrollment will close Sept. 30. More information is available at local Veterans Service Commission sites.

OHIO participants in the program must enroll in a VA-approved education program offered by community colleges or technical schools in the Buckeye State.

In addition, the program must lead to an associates degree, non-college degree or certificate and train the veteran for a high-demand occupation.

One Belmont County veteran, who learned about the retraining program through his VA representative, has been taking courses since January after he went online and submitted an application to see if he qualified.

He said the program was simple to navigate and to determine what is offered, and these are definite pluses.

“It’s very easy and user-friendly,” said the veteran. “It’s a really easy thing to use if people want to look for benefits. It’s not hard. The problem is no one knows about it.”

He also pointed out the career program list is huge so veterans will be aware of the high-demand jobs.

BEFORE Sept. 30, the retraining program will accept applications from up to 45,000 participants, and more than 31,000 veterans nationwide already have applied.

An additional 54,000 veterans can apply between Oct. 1, 2012, and March 31, 2014.

THE VETERANS have helped the nation, and this sounds as if it’s a good way to help the veterans.