VA's High-Tech Training Program Runs Out of Money After One Month

Two soldiers use a computer.
Spc. James Spencer and Sgt. Corey McClure, both assigned to the 143rd Military Police Company, Montana Army National Guard, use a computer. (Army National Guard/Michael Touchette)

Department of Veterans Affairs high-tech job training program introduced last year has run out of money and won't return until its funding is replenished next October, VA officials announced Thursday.

The Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET TEC) program, which was created as part of the Forever GI Bill (Public Law 115-48), is meant to help veterans get the cutting-edge skills they need to succeed in today's high-tech industries.

The planned five-year pilot program, which began Oct. 1, 2019, is limited to $15 million in annual funding by law. After the $15 million runs out, new enrollments for the program shut down.

The VA announced that the 2021 funding ran out as of Nov. 5, 2020, little more than a month after the fiscal year began Oct. 1. As a result, no more veterans are eligible to enroll in the program until Oct. 1, 2021, the beginning of next fiscal year.

In fiscal 2020, the allocated funding lasted until May 21.

But that doesn't mean veterans interested in the program shouldn't go ahead and apply. Instead, VA officials said the future money will most likely be used on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting with any backlog of applicants. If you're thinking about enrolling, you should apply as soon as possible to get your name on the waiting list, officials said.

Given the program's overwhelming success in the first two years of its existence, veterans who are interested in a high-tech job training program might want to explore other funding options that may be available to them, such as state veteran benefits or other GI Bill programs like On-the-Job training or certification testing.

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