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Veterans retraining assistance program

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Two US organizations are pushing a new program to help reduce the number of unemployed veterans.

It's a retraining assistance program where veterans are granted $1,473 dollars a month for up to 12 months to help pay for education costs.

Panhandle Workforce Solutions Veteran Resource Coordinator Norman Bearden says, "The program just kind of fills in some gaps on some of the veterans that kind of fell in between the older Montgomery GI Bill, and the new Post-9/11 GI Bill. There's quite a few veterans that for whatever reason come to Texas, but they're not Texas veterans so they can't use the state education benefits."

The idea is for them to become certified or get a degree, and be hired for a job that's in high demand.

Bearden says, "There's many jobs that can be done very well by a certificate program. A perfect example is the Aerospace Manufacturing Program out at Amarillo College, a joint Amarillo College and Bell Helicopter program. It gives them a certificate."

In order to qualify, you must be an unemployed veteran who's between 35 and 60 years old, and not receiving financial aid from other government programs.

Texas Veterans Commission Veterans Employment Representative Marshall Green says, "It's another whole demographic group. As opposed to the guys that have served in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is more for the older veterans that have been up for quite a while."

Green says there are opportunities. He says, "It doesn't take that long to get like a CDL. And one of the areas in Amarillo right now where we have a lot of jobs available are in CDL drivers and transportation."

Some programs begin in July. The money is given out on a "first come first serve basis", so if you're interested in applying you may want to do so now.

You may apply at either of these two web sites: http://www.va.gov/ or http://www.dol.gov/

You may also visit the Panhandle Workforce Solutions for guidance. They're located at 1206 W. 77th Avenue in Amarillo.

Jessica Abuchaibe, NewsChannel 10

 

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