Military Advantage

Construction Training Program for Vets

A pilot program in Valdosta, Georgia is offering veterans an opportunity to attend Wiregrass Technical College to learn the skills needed to apply for entry level construction jobs. 

Source: Military Officers Association of America Press Release

In partnership with the Veterans Innovation Center and Wiregrass Technical College, community leaders in Valdosta, Ga., the regional Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) Chapter and other Veteran organizations, are using their combined reach to solicit applications from recently discharged Veterans who have an interest in pursuing a career in the construction trades.  The six month program will launch a demonstration model in Valdosta on August 13, 2012 with 50 Veterans and up to 125 family members.

 

The program is accepting applicants now and Veterans interested in learning entry level construction trades may visit the www.Valdosta4Vets.org web site for more information and an application.  Each Veteran’s qualifications and interests will be assessed by means of written input and phone interviews.

 

Those selected will be assigned to the community to complete necessary testing, GI Bill qualifications and relocation activities.  Those not selected will be transferred to the Gold Card Program run by the Department of Labor for personal guidance on employment. 

 

This test model is referred to as the Valdosta Construction Program (VCP), and is designed to accelerate the transition from military service to a viable long-term civilian career path and will focus on four key elements of military to civilian transition support:

  • Employment (in the construction trades and leading to high expectation of career placement following program completion);
  • Education (construction trade professional certification and holistic life skills training)
  • Healing (reintegration, mentoring, behavior health and strengthening families); and
  • Engagement (community support, housing, spouse employment and child care, on an as needed basis).
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“The VCP is designed to address the employment challenges of recent Veterans returning home following military service and to also assist with the challenges of re-integrating with families and communities,” Bob Verhey, Executive Director of the Veterans Innovation Center said.   “Our goal is to help recently discharged Veterans become as good a civilian as they were a warrior.”   

 

Selected Veterans will attend Wiregrass Technical College to receive necessary technical skills to succeed professionally and necessary holistic skills to navigate the civilian culture. 

 

The Valdosta community intends to provide the Veteran and families mentoring and reinforcement support in the areas of family-friendly living quarters, spousal employment, Veteran part-time employment, education (K-3), child care, entertainment, extra-curricular activities, community engagement and more.  Local community support is a key feature of the VCP program.

 

Post 9/11 GI Bill funding will be arranged and available to cover 100% of expenses for tuition, books and housing.

 

“Our objective is to test the validity of the process and make adjustments in preparation for the roll-out across the United States.” Verhey continued.

 

About MOAA: Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is the nation’s largest officers association with 370,000 members from every branch of service, including active duty, retired, National Guard, Reserve, and former officers and their families and survivors. MOAA is a nonprofit and politically nonpartisan organization and an influential force in promoting a strong national defense.  MOAA represents the interests of service members and their families in every stage of their lives and careers, and for those who are not eligible to join MOAA, Voices for America’s Troops is a nonprofit MOAA affiliate that supports a strong national defense. For more information, visit www.moaa.org

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