Returning home from an extended overseas deployment can be a busy and joyful time for servicemembers as they reunite with their families and ease their way back into civilian life. But for the newest generation of veterans, the stress can be magnified as they attempt to locate gainful employment opportunities in their local communities. These opportunities can sometimes appear elusive in an overly competitive employment environment where the best jobs go to those with specific skill sets, training and experience.
In an effort to assist with this transition, two agencies within the Department of Labor, the Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) and the Employment and Training Administration's Job Corps have formed a partnership to begin a demonstration project that will offer veterans hands-on training in more than 100 career fields. This training will involve some of the nation's fastest-growing career fields including 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 its 123 training centers nationwide, the veterans' demonstration project will focus on three pilot program sites at the Job Corps centers in Edinburgh, Ind., Morganfield, Ky., and Excelsior Springs, Miss.
As part of this demonstration project, 100 residential slots will be designated for veterans at each of three pilot program sites. Once accepted, the training is free to the veteran and the program 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 is a self-paced program in which students complete their learning at their own pace, training generally takes from eight months to two years to complete. While in training, participants receive a basic living allowance which increases as their training progresses. Following completion of the training program, Job Corps provides participants with a transition allowance based upon their academic and career skills completion. Participants are also provided with job search assistance and are directed to resources for such support services as legal assistance, housing and child care.
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.