Department of Labor Releases High-Demand Occupation List for the Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program
April 2, 2021
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is preparing to launch the Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP) as part of its continued effort to support Veterans seeking retraining and economic opportunities in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
VA in partnership with the Department of Labor published a list of high-demand occupations. The new program, part of the American Rescue Plan, will allow qualifying Veterans between the ages of 22 and 67 to receive up to 12 months of tuition and fee and monthly housing allowance payments, based on Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits. VA will provide further information soon on how Veterans can apply for this program.
The list of high-demand occupations includes the following jobs in the construction industry:
- Insulation workers, mechanical
- Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters
- Reinforcing iron and rebar workers
- Sheet metal workers
- Structural iron and steelworkers
- Elevator and escalator installers and repairers
- Earth drillers, except oil and gas; and explosives workers, ordnance handling experts, and blasters
The week of April 4th, VA will release a participation agreement and begin to work with educational institutions interested in participating in VRRAP. VA will require educational institutions to commit to a participation agreement that will outline VRRAP requirements and specify which training programs are covered under VRRAP. Once reviewed and approved by VA, a comprehensive list of VRRAP educational institutions and programs will be published and made available.
For a program of education to qualify for VRRAP, it must meet the following criteria:
- Be approved for GI Bill or VET TEC
- Not lead to a bachelors or graduate degree
- Provide training for a high-demand occupation
The payment model for VRRAP tuition and fees (paid directly to the VRRAP education institution) is milestone-based:
- 50% when the Veteran begins the program
- 25% when the Veteran completes the program
- 25% when the Veteran finds employment in the field of study
The program is limited to a maximum of 17,250 participants and up to $386 million.