Retraining for Unemployed Veterans

August 30, 2012 |

The Department of Veterans Affairs has approved more than 36,000 applications for the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), a new training and education program for unemployed veterans to upgrade their skills for in-demand jobs. VA expects to fill all 45,000 available slots for the fiscal year 2012 phase of the program before the Sept. 30 deadline and will continue processing new applications for fiscal year 2013. Potential applicants can learn more about VRAP and apply online at, or call VA toll-free at 1-800-827-1000. Information about the Department of Labor’s programs for veterans is available at Veterans can also visit the nearly 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers across the nation, listed at, for in-person assistance.

Read the full story on the Military Advantage Blog.

About Ho Lin

Ho Lin is an editor at His interests include naval history, the New York football Giants, and loud rock music.


  1. mike says:

    Ha Ha! I am an 50 year old, 80% disabled vet unemployed for 2 years now and applied for a job with the VA in Colorado Springs over a month ago. I have not recieved an email, phone call, letter, or even a text in over a month. This Veterans Retraining Assistance Program is just another Propaganda tool for the current Administration.

    • CINNALOCKS says:

      Give it sometime Mike you are not alone. You are the best propaganda for the current admin. You want the government to give you something. But Romney and his mate want you to go out and make yourself over, pull yourself up by the bootstraps with no assistance. Cut all the programs for all those who are in need. Nothing is perfect but Romney, he knows nothing about sacrifice, you would never be a troop. And maybe Mike you were not qualified for the job….did you expect them to send an email, phone call or text to say that?

    • DMG says:

      Really Mike because apply for a job and using this program are two Totally different things. I’ve applied for VA jobs too and have not heard a response. They are not required to call or write every applicant.

    • Mel says:

      The VRAP program is a complete disappointmet. To qualify, you have to be unemployed, yet, they don't give you any monies until 30 days after class starts and if you are unemployed, you don't have money to give to a school in hopes to get reembursed. The VRAP program limits you to what type of college you can attend, and they refuse to send me a list of schools that are VRAP qualified.

    • Treadhead says:

      You wouldn’t qualify for VRAP anyway. You have the option of Vocational Rehabilitation, but it’s not going to come to you in a box in the mail. Contact your local Veterans Service Officer for local information on VOC REHAB. Of course, that requires that YOU actually do something.

    • LNB says:

      If you are disabled and NOT unemployed, there are other options in addition to VRAP. One being Chapter (34) benefits or vocational rehabilitation for disabled vets and there is also an apprenticeship program. If you have not used these benefits yet, you should qualify for one of these programs. Receiving money in advance for a program is like receiving pay for a job; you don’t get paid before you start work. The programs approved for VRAP are limited, BUT THE LIST IS ONLINE. There are over 100 different programs offered, with a certificate of completion or an associate degree if you can accomplish that within a year.

    • Civilian_Again says:

      Ever think about submitting more than 1 application? I reapply every 2 months – the more apps you put in the pile, the more likely it is to land on a hiring managers desk – that's just simple math. Success is all 99% motivation 1% perspiration, so make it happen Soldier.

    • Al says:

      Mr. Mike it take about three to four month for a respone, I know from expperience. So did you apply for Va retraining program also.

    • Daniel says:

      Same story here. Except I'm 25, The VA still hasn't processed my claim. I applied to the VA several times over the past 2 years. Same boat. Not a single response in any form what so ever.

  2. CINNALOCKS says:

    SORRY that should have read Romney knows nothing about being a trooper, a soldier, a sailor or a marine and cares nothing about Vets or the enlisted man.

  3. henry says:

    Interesting what rank was obama?

  4. Anthony says:

    another example of misinformationan untruthin jobs for vets, really over half of the job career fairs that i've been to the people aren't even hiring. an whats the deal with this retraining vets program,QUALIFICATION DISCHARGED OTHER THEN HONORABLE. STARTING FROM THE TOP DOWN AS THE POLITICIANS LIKE TO SAY,PLZ have them sign up for some truth in what is said class's, I know i'am asking for alot but lets for a change imagine the politicians,American corp's, greedy banks,being a real American an doing the right things.

  5. Herb says:

    Hello One and ALL-My issue is that I"m over 60 and I still want and need to work for family and myself-Need a sense of self worth-I guess those that have, Have, and those that don't, Don't

    • Joseph Parrish says:

      I’m a 100% disabled veteran retired USN ENC that has found a long term multi progned solution . One of these is my store front business Mesa Arixona.
      First we must decide we have a pronlem/challange.
      Then we must decide if we want to do something about it.
      Then look around for options that will do something AND that we will use.
      Anyway contact me. I might be able to give you an alternative option.
      *************@*****.*** (EFT)

  6. Veteran who tried says:

    The VA doesn't hire VETERANS. They take flunkies off the street and have them decide Veterans claims. Some of the VA's raters don't even LIKE Veterans. Good luck getting a job with them.

    • Joseph Parrish says:

      I’m a 100% disabled veteran retired USN ENC that has found a long term multi progned solution . One of these is my store front business Mesa Arixona.
      First we must decide we have a pronlem/challange.
      Then we must decide if we want to do something about it.
      Then look around for options that will do something AND that we will use.
      Anyway contact me. I might be able to give you an alternative option.
      *************@*****.*** (EFT)

    • Littlebear says:

      YES…Just got back from Iraq…IF this is true about the VA, then something needs to be done…GOD Bless…

  7. James Butler says:

    I need a job bad I am vet . but no one care .

  8. Macrus Watson says:

    My problem with these “veterans” programs is they are too limited in scope. I’m 23 served 5 years active duty got and honorable discharge and I can’t even get a job delivering pizza now. All this is is another program I don’t qualify for because I’m not old enough or because my duty position didn’t deploy. This is crazy. Why can’t vets no matter what age or deployment history qualify for programs like these ?

    • Barry L says:

      Macrus…….unfortunately you aren't eligible. But please consider using the Post 9-11 GI Bill or Montgomery GI BIll. Those are better programs than the VRAP anyway. Talk to the schools in your area and/or call the VA at 888-442-4551

      • Bob C. says:

        Don't bother going to school. I'm in school and the VA hasn't paid my bill this fall so they took all my financial aid ! I'm not happy! What else do I have to live on? nothing.

  9. Neil vK says:

    HA! I've been unemployed for over 3 years, 50% disable and now 54 yrs old. I applied for their so-called retraining and the 20 something year old female that worked on my case said that I didn't have any "transferable skills". This was probably her first job out of college and didn't have a clue as to what she was doing. I worked on a computer helpdesk for 8 years, was an electrician for 8 years, in the Marine Corps for 8 years and I graduated in 2007 while working full time with a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing. And, yet, I don't have any transferable skills. I can tell you that I have more skills than the young lady has that tried to help me. I guess that's what is to be expected from a Government Agency.

    • Barry L says:

      Neil………..was that Vocational Rehabilitation you were denied for? You apply for this program (VRAP) by using the VA on-line application called VONAPP. For VRAP there probably isn't going to be a "caseworker" that you'll ever talk to. Visit the link at the top of this page to start the VONAPP for VRAP…

      • Neil vK says:

        Yes, it was Vocational Rehabilitation. I'll try the VRAP, but won't hold my breath for anything positive to come out of it.
        Thanks Barry.

  10. Tom L says:

    I am a disabled veteran who works for the VA as a vocational rehabilitation specialist. No one ever taught me how to apply for a VA job, no one ever told me how to get an education and use my GI Bill and no one ever told me that I should be able to help veterans. I found those things out by asking questions and using a simple rule: "No, simply means starting again 1 level higher". Every medical center has vocational specialists who will help you apply for jobs (VA & on VA). Ask to meet them, find out where their offices are and ask to speak with one. Find one that will help you; No simply means starting again 1 level higher. VRAP is a great program! The post 9/11 GI Bill is the best GI bill…ever. VBA is trying to sort out the disability claims mess and the VA now has great leadership!

  11. ccC says:


    As a well-educated, disabled, female Vet, I have been unemployed since April 2012. Fortunately, I'm 70% and just turned 62, and started collecting SS, otherwise, I would have lost my house and car. These are difficult times, and gonna get worse. I agree with many other Veterans comments about the gov't system, as it's designed to get the word out about job fairs, etc., the jobs are few and far between. I have friends with master degrees in social work and struggling to move up the ladder, and apply for gov't jobs, but told the job was closed at this time, or you were qualified but not selected…………fewer options these days………………just my 2 cents worth……………….C

  12. NOBama sdm says:

    I have used Voc. Rehab and have a Bachelors in Criminal Justice. I can’t & won’t complain b/c I don’t take no for an answer. I’ve been offered jobs @VA, dod but said no b/c I’m 90%+10% I.U. and rated at 100% combined. If I take any job under 65k, I lose money & want to work. My point is PTSD, if Obama gets re-elected, say good bye to your 2nd amendment rights bc he’s going to pass a law that will not allow cwp or to own/have a weapon in your home….the list of vets is already ready to get letters or bye,bye benefits……chew on that VRAP REP!

  13. vnoifvet says:

    For those of you "unemployed veterans." I used to be a DVOP and LVER at the Employment Development Dept., in California and had a high rate of placing vets and disabled vets in training programs as well as developing jobs for them through the JTPA and Tax Credit Programs. So what, you may ask, well; now that I'm retired, I've been to several Job Fairs and it's embarrassing how some veterans attend these fairs. Their appearance leaves much to be desired, they come empty handed and when it comes to fill out job applications, they come unprepared, meaning no pencil and no pen and without any info with regards to their employment history. Please, leave your leathers back at home and come job ready. If you want to get hired, clean up your act and have a "Can Do" attitude. Yes, we all served and some of us are proud to have served, but, show that pride when you apply for a job; don't go like they owe it to you, you need to earn it and if you want respect, well, it's a two way street show respect. Don't forget your military manners with regards to courtesy. Employers like to hire veterans because of their training and backgrounds, mainly because employers feel veterans are mature and responsible and their flexibility to retrain.

    • Barry says:

      Problem is some of these jobs ask only had u served in a combat role like vet nam, yet those of us who served 20 plus years there is no veteran asked slot only been in combat or r u disabled

  14. Randy says:

    Hello everyone from the beautiful state of Oregon, where the Vets have the highest unemployment and highest incarceration rate per capita of any state in the U.S. Out of the 3.2 million incarcerated people in the Vets make up 10% of the prison population. and 8% of them are combat troops.
    It's a sad commentary on ourselves, that the reason so many of theseVets are incarceratedis so they can deal with their PTSD. It's so close to their combat expirence that many feel at home there.
    So many forgotten warriors incarcerated, their bodies inside walls like their minds & for what? So that they can protect the very people they love & care for from themselves.. All because they couldn't get the help they si desperately need from the very people that called on them to give of themselves. Many of the Vets I met wish that they had been left behind, rather then see the fear in their wife or childs eyes.. One other thing Marissa; if you are reading this 3 years liveing in the bush is long enough your mom & kids miss their mom. It's time to go home & try again.

  15. Randy says:

    I have to finish my last post.. I tried to access VRAP & was denied because they thought I was still incarcerated.. I'm not, while it is true that I am on post-prison supervision {it's what the state of Oregon calls parole} and I truely do have sever barriers, not just employment, BUT, houseing also. The VRAP program was a hope, a chance to re-try for the uniquely AMERICAN dream.. A second chance at begining anew..For I truely could use a hand up.. Which is completly diffrent than a hand out.. I'm not on a street corner yet… I guess it's like Marissa says.. "If you haven't got the help you've asked for, then maybe, another Vet is getting the promise from their government"

  16. Treadhead says:

    You guys/gals want to know about VRAP? VRAP was designed for Vets who are employable, but just happen to be unemployed. The program won’t help the destitute Vet living in section 8 housing. The best case scenario is for the Vet to go to school and work at the same time. I did it back before/during/after Desert Storm. VRAP works similar to Chapter 30, MGIB Active Duty but the scope of the program is limited to helping Vets that are not completely down and out. Having trouble finding a qualifying school? Each state has a Veterans Section in their respective State Departments of Labor. The VA web-site and Education Call Center covers the whole world and it is impracticable to be knowledgeable on state and local employment/training assets. To be clear, this program is NOT a hand-out, it is a leg-up.

  17. you serve and sweat and bleed to keep our country safe and you do it with pride but when you seek assistance thru the VA or other government agency they laugh in your face. I come overseas to work for contractors serving the troops here but they don't like it if you choose to live in the country you work in to serve.. i come to korea in 2005 and had a job with a contractor but as things go funding was cut and lost the job, applied for many other jobs and finally with help of a friend landed another and that lasted about 16 months when the agency who controls the contracts tells the company i can not be employed cause of the SOFA Agreement in Korea.. stating in you live in korea with family you can not be hired or employed cause the call you a korean citizen… funny i still have american passport and pay taxes but they ruined my life with it and can not get a contract job in korea to save my ass. GS workers are limited to 5 years in country so how come contractors are not double standards apply

  18. Barry says:

    Getting a job overseas or here in the states is really tough. I have a proven record of long lasting 9 plus yrs in positions/ am a retired veteran. But most applications do not have that question only had u been in a combat location or r u disabled. Plus my age 68 and still wish to work, they say not age that didn't get me positions well qualified for.can not prove the age discrimination but definitely there.
    You can complain all day about these different opions end of day we're still looking. Agree with another, I see some of the people hired at the vet centers, most look like never worked for years. How in God's name can they be working and like myself over 45 yrs in the workforce no out of work and the VA themselves won't even offer employment. Retraining or not.

  19. Ann says:

    Does anyone know who I would contact in Solano County, California to ask questions regarding vocational retraining? I am an unemployed retiree.