VA offers new job training assistance program for area veterans

Published: May. 5, 2021 at 8:10 PM CDT
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TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) - Veterans who’ve lost their jobs during the pandemic are getting a much-needed break thanks to the VA now taking applications for a new program to help veterans affected by the pandemic learn a new trade.

The mindset of a born leader, that’s what many hiring managers that are part of the program say they’re looking for.

In fields like cybersecurity, welding, dental assistants and more, the VA will pay one year tuition to any veteran who lost their job because of the pandemic.

Although, the post 9/11 GI Bill benefits have to be transferred to a family member, for the veteran, some say says it’s a win-win.

“All of those veterans have those transferable skills to transfer whether its communication, leadership or adaptability,” said Michelle Bollinger, director of career & professional development at Texas A&M Central Texas.

“So, all of these skills they have to take with them, even if they don’t have the technical skills right now, they’re able to gain those. While our veterans are able to get paid at the same time as doing this program and learning the technical skills, they’re still able to transfer their GI Bill to a dependent in some manner so they can get free schooling.”

VA spokesperson Lee Packnett said in a statement that the program shows how the VA continues to invest in veterans and that he knows they will in turn help grow the economy.

Bollinger says in some ways, the pandemic has already helped that along

“We’ve learned that this is something that’s going to remain,” she said.

“It’s not just gonna go away, this new way of doing work. So, individuals, organizations, companies are looking for people with that IT, cybersecurity, digital media type of experience.”

More information on the program and a complete list of trades available can be found of the VA’s website.

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