Fewer than 9,000 spots remain open in a government program that pays for unemployed veterans to get training in high-demand jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Part of the federal VOW to Hire Heroes Act passed last year, the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program offers 12 months of assistance to 45,000 participants who sign up between July 1 and Sept. 30.

As of Friday, 36,832 applications had been received, including one from Robby Everett, a 43-year-old Granville man and Air Force veteran.

Everett, who is married with two children, enlisted in the Air Force straight out of high school and served in Alaska from 1987 to 1991.

After the military, Everett got a degree in microbiology from Ohio State University and joined the Air National Guard to help pay for his wife's schooling.

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