Although an ambitious veterans jobs bill was stymied on the Senate floor earlier this week, another program through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) moved forward. The organization recently opened up 54,000 spots for the second phase of its Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP).
The initiative, which has already filled the initial 45,000 slots, provides servicemembers with vocational training classes that provide them with skills to find jobs in certain in-demand fields. The program is open to veterans under the Montgomery GI Bill, which goes into effect on October 1 and pays recipients $1,564 a month if they are full-time students.
Soldiers who enroll in the program can take classes in 200 different fields, all of which are estimated to be adding 10,000 jobs over the next decade.
"The surge of Veterans applying for VRAP demonstrates this program's importance to provide unemployed Veterans the opportunity to find employment in high-demand fields," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.
The program is open to vets between 35 and 60 years old and is the brainchild of Rep. Jeff Miller, who wanted to provide middle-age servicemembers with job training opportunities, according to Military Times.