The COVID-19 pandemic brought enormous challenges for all Americans, including historic unemployment. From a peak of 14.8%, unemployment was still high at 6.1% in April 2021 – a full year after the pandemic began.
Veterans have suffered from unemployment at an even higher rate than the general population. For this reason, the Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP) was enacted on March 11, 2021. Included in the $1.9 trillion America Rescue Plan of 2021, VRRAP aims to help individuals and businesses recover from the lingering economic damage done by the COVID-19 pandemic.
VRRAP is based on an earlier program known as VRAP (Veteran Retraining Assistance Program). In this iteration, Congress added the word “rapid.” It’s quite appropriate, as VRRAP is all about connecting veterans with short-term training that will help them get hired quickly.
Education programs working with VRRAP must provide training for high-demand occupations, as defined by the Commissioner of Labor Statistics. Eligible programs include GI Bill® approved education programs (excluding bachelor’s and graduate degrees), and VET TEC approved training.
Because employment is the ultimate purpose of VRRAP, participating training providers won’t see all of the funds for a given student’s enrollment until they have been hired into a role they trained for. This gives the training providers a huge incentive to create programs that really work. ACI Learning provides Career Services training to all graduates, and we’re proud to say that 75% of 2020 VET TEC grads have already found employment in the field.
VRRAP also includes a monthly housing allowance so that participants will not need to tap unemployment benefits such as CARES.
To be eligible, participants must meet the following requirements:
At least 22 years old, but not older than 66
Unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Not eligible for GI or VR&E benefits – or you’ve transferred all of your benefits to family members
Not rated as “totally disabled”
Not enrolled in a federal or state jobs program
Not receiving unemployment benefits (including CARES Act benefits)
Go ahead and apply, even if you're unsure you'd qualify. The VA makes the final determination!
If you’re eligible for VRRAP, you can receive:
Up to 12 months of tuition and fees
A monthly housing allowance based on Post-9/11 GI Bill® rates
VRRAP funding is available now. This program is moving fast! Remember, it was established to try and make a difference for veterans as quickly as possible.
The program will end when any of these the following events happen:
21 months after enactment (December 11, 2022)
The maximum of 17,250 participants is reached
The $386 million budget is exhausted
When you’re unemployed, we understand your urgency to move into a new role as quickly as possible. That’s why VRRAP funded training at ACI Learning is an ideal solution for struggling veterans, especially those that have already used up their GI Bill®. ACI Learning has training available with many of the popular IT certifications, such as CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, CCNA, CND, and more. After all, the demand for certified individuals is at an all-time high and has far outstripped supply.
At ACI Learning, your training is always with a live instructor, whether you’re online or in person at one of five Learning Hubs. You’ll be able to interact with the class, ask questions, and get support from teachers and students. Mornings are filled with instruction and new material, and you’ll spend afternoons doing labs, working on homework, and completing practice tests to prepare for your final certification exam
Another aspect of training that sets ACI Learning apart is our Career Services team. After completing your studies, they’ll help you optimize your LinkedIn profile, polish your resume, and learn the ins-and-outs of IT job hunting. You’ll also be connected with local job opportunities through our network of Employer Partners. As an ACI Learning alum, you’ll be able to depend on support from our Career Services team for the rest of your life.
Are you interested in a career in IT, cyber security, or networking? Fill out the form below to request more information.
GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.