Unemployed veterans have asked for job retraining assistance in “record numbers” weeks before the deadline for a federal program to train prior service members for civilian work, a Department of Veterans Affairs program official said.

More than 32,600 veterans have applied for the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program nationwide, according to VA data. The initiative, which began accepting applications in mid-May, will take up to 45,000 participants until Sept. 30.

The jobs initiative is open to former service members between the ages of 35 to 60 because they represent more than half of the 800,000 unemployed veterans nationwide, Curtis Coy, VA deputy undersecretary for economic opportunity in Washington, D.C.

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