The deadline is fast approaching for a federal program that would assist unemployed and under-employed military veterans with job training.

More than 31,000 veterans nationwide have already applied for the 45,000 spots open in the first round of a job training program made possible under the federal VOW to Hire Heroes Act, a bill co-sponsored by Ohio's senior senator, Sherrod Brown.

Brown held a telephone press conference Wednesday aimed at getting the word out to qualified veterans and urging them to apply.

"People who serve our country, risking their lives, shouldn't have to wonder if they will have a job when they return,'' Brown said.

On the conference call with Brown was Tony Blankenship of Martins Ferry, Ohio, who said he has had held jobs since leaving the Air Force but who has been unemployed for the past eight months. He said he has enrolled in a two-year program in medical assisting at Belmont College.

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