T he Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP) offers education and training for high-demand jobs — including health care, education and engineering — to veterans who are unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Veterans participating in VRRAP will receive up to 12 months of tuition and fees and a monthly housing allowance based on Post 9/11 GI Bill rates.

To be eligible, veterans must meet the following criteria:

• At least 22 years old, but less than 67 years old.

• Unemployed because of the pandemic.

• Not eligible for GI Bill or VR&E benefits.

There are 792 educational institutions that have been approved to participate in the program. See list of approved institutions here: https:// benefits.va.gov/gibill/docs/VRRAP_ApprovedEducationalInstitutions.pdf

VRRAP was developed as part of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus economic relief package signed into law by President Biden in March 2021. About $17 billion was allocated to support the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in its response to the pandemic. Of this, $386 million went to VRRAP.

VA Secretary Denis McDonough applauded the American Rescue Plan’s provisions for caring for the nation’s veterans when it was signed into law.

“Countless veterans have lost jobs, closed businesses, home-schooled children and faced uncertain prospects while our nation grapples with this health crisis,” McDonough said. “The American Rescue Plan is a significant piece of legislation that helps VA deliver on the president’s promise of caring for the men and women who served our great nation, especially during this unanticipated and challenging time.”

In addition to VRRAP, Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) is a five-year pilot program designed to help eligible veterans secure meaningful employment in the high demand technology sector.

VET TEC pairs eligible veterans with training providers offering high tech training and skills development. This includes information science, data processing and computer software programs. VET TEC also utilizes an employer consortium to help veterans find employment following the completion of their program.

Visit VRRAP and VET TEC to learn more about these programs and eligibility requirements.

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