Veterans who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic can apply to the Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The retraining program covers education and training approved under the GI Bill and Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses, or VET TEC, that lead to high-demand jobs.

These include associate degrees, non-college degrees and certificate programs.

Job training for more than 200 specific high-demand occupations across the country are eligible for the VA program. Veterans who qualify can receive educational benefits equivalent to the Post-911 GI Bill for up to a year, to learn a new skill or attain certification in one of the listed careers. Veterans who have exhausted other education benefits are eligible.

The retraining program was part of Congress’ COVID relief package, and the Veterans Affairs Department began accepting applications this month.

Locally, Intellectual Point in Sterling is a participating technology school, and the department said the list will be updated as more schools sign up.

Qualifying veterans must be between 25 and 66 years old, have an honorable or less-than-honorable discharge, and not be eligible for any other VA educational benefits or government job training programs.

The VA said funding will continue through December, 2022.

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