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Veterans Retraining Assistance Program opens
Ohio veterans are eligible to apply for 12 months of retraining at a community college or technical school, thanks to the new Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP).
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, touted VRAP at a press conference Monday in the Columbus State Conference Center. Brown was joined by Martin Maliwesky, dean of Enrollment Services; Jay Favuzzi, supervisor of Veterans Services; and student Donald Grove.
VRAP is part of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which Brown cosponsored. It's aimed at veterans who are between 35-60 years old and who are no longer eligible for benefits such as the GI Bill.
"The people who serve us, we should serve them better than we do now," Brown said.
Columbus State is one of several schools where veterans can use the new benefit. Recipients must be enrolled in a program that leads to an associate degree, non-college degree or certificate and that trains them for a high-demand occupation. VRAP Fact Sheet
Columbus State recently expanded and upgraded its Veterans Services department. Veterans Services can help military students apply for benefits, obtain transfer credits, find scholarships and access other services. Columbus State has about 1,600 registered veterans, and 40 have already enrolled in the VRAP program.
Donald Grove, a former hospital corpsman, is one of the students accessing VRAP benefits. He's studying Health Information Management Technology, which blends his skills in IT and health care.
"Especially in the day and age, it's great to get a little boost," Grove said.
Veterans can apply for VRAP assistance online by visiting the VA's eBenefits page. Spaces for the program are limited: Between July 1 and Sept. 30, VRAP will accept applications from up to 45,000 participants for retraining assistance, and an additional 54,000 veterans can apply for assistance between Oct. 1 and March 31, 2014.