Veterans Retraining Assistance Program Benefits Available at Southwest Tennessee Community College

Congress passed, and the President has signed into law, the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. The Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 provides seamless transition for servicemembers, expands education and training opportunities for veterans, and provides tax credits for employers who hire veterans with service-connected disabilities.

Included in this new law is the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP). VRAP offers up to 12 months of training assistance to unemployed Veterans.

VRAP offers 12 months of training assistance to Veterans who:

  • Are at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
  • Are unemployed on the date of application
  • Received an other than dishonorable discharge
  • Are not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
  • Are not in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability
  • Are not enrolled in a federal or state job training program

Participants must be enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school. The program must lead to an associate degree or a certificate, and train the veteran for a high demand occupation. The high demand occupational fields include, but are not limited to; legal occupations (paralegals and legal assistants), architecture and engineering occupations (electrical and electronic technologies, mechanical engineering), healthcare occupations (nursing, pharmacy technician, EMT's and paramedics) and food preparation occupations.

Southwest Tennessee Community College offers many degrees and certificates which qualify under this program. VRAP is limited to a set number of participants; 45,000 participants from July 1, 2012, through September 30, 2012, and 54,000 participants from October 1, 2012, through March 31, 2014. Participants may receive up to 12 months of assistance equal to the monthly full-time payment rate under the Montgomery GI Bill–Active Duty program (currently $1,473 per month). DOL will offer employment assistance to every Veteran who participates upon completion of the program.

To get more information, contact the Southwest Veterans Affairs Office at 901-333-4185 or 901-333-5115. You may also visit