Printed on: December 30, 2012

Training program available to veterans

By Jeff Robinson
jrobinson@postregister.com

The Idaho Department of Labor urges military veterans to contact their nearest Labor office to see if they're eligible for a program to train them for jobs in high-demand industries.

The Labor Department received one of 11 grants from the U.S. Department of Labor to operate the Veterans Workforce Investment Program. The $750,000 award will finance training for jobs in industries such as information technology, truck driving, hazardous materials removal and hybrid automotive mechanics.

Mike Hill, disabled veterans outreach representative at the Labor Department's Idaho Falls office, said the program is geared to help veterans whose eligibility for the GI Bill has expired, including Vietnam-era veterans.

The program only can be used for fees and tuition at institutions that have been prequalified by the Veterans Administration.

Eastern Idaho Technical College, Idaho State University and the Sage Technical Services truck driving school are among the region's prequalified institutions.

"The money can be used for something as simple as taking a course at EITC to learn a new computer skill," Hill said. "Or they can go to truck driving school to get their Class A CDL.

Chris Ramos, Idaho Department of Labor veterans' coordinator in Boise, said that while the economy is beginning to recover, competition for jobs is still intense.

"The Veterans Workforce Investment Program can give Idaho veterans the training they need to get into expanding industries that have a solid future ahead of them," he said in a news release.

Hill hopes to be able to help dozens of area veterans.

"I want to catch everyone who's eligible," he said.

To learn more about the training program, contact Hill or one of the veterans representatives at the Idaho Falls office at 1515 E. Lincoln Road or call 557-2500.

Information also is available online at tinyurl.com/vets-training.