Returning home from an extended overseas deployment can be a busy and joyful time for today’s servicemembers as they reunite with their families and ease their way back into civilian life. However, for the newest generation of veterans, this can serve as a stressful event as they look for employment in an increasingly competitive job market — opportunities often go to candidates with specific training and experience.
In an effort to assist with this transition, two agencies within the U.S. Department of Labor — the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) and the Employment and Training Administration’s Job Corps — formed a partnership to offer veterans hands-on training in some of the nation’s fastest-growing career fields such as construction, automotive repair, information technology and renewable energy.
Job Corps training programs are free to eligible participants between the age of 16-24 (the upper age limit of 24 may be waived if an otherwise eligible Veteran has a documented disability).
Although Job Corps offers training at their 123 training centers nationwide, the veterans’ employment project will focus on three pilot program sites at the Job Corps centers in Edinburgh, Ind.; Morganfield, Ky.; and Excelsior Springs, Mo.
As part of this project, 100 residential slots will be designated for veterans at each of three pilot program sites. Once accepted,the training is free and covers transportation, housing, meals, recreation and academic and career technical training. Job Corps participants are housed in residential facilities with other students, but some centers have policies allowing them to serve non-resident participants as well.
Although Job Corps allows students to finish the program at their own pace, training generally lasts eight months to two years. And, participants receive a basic living allowance that increases as their training progresses. Following completion of the program, participants will receive an allowance based upon their academic and career skills, in addition to job-search assistance. What’s more, veterans will be directed to support services such as legal assistance, housing, and child care.
Challenging circumstances call for innovative measures, and the new career training initiative between VETS and Job Corps is one of many that will assist our nation’s veterans in preparing for rewarding careers in a variety of occupations. Veterans interested in exploring opportunities available through Job Corps can contact the toll-free admissions hotline 24 hours a day at (800) 733-Jobs or by visiting www.recruiting.jobcorps.gov.