WASHINGTON, DC – More than 31,000 veterans nationwide have applied for a newly-available jobs retraining assistance program made possible through the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, a veterans jobs law enacted in November. During a news conference call today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined an Ohio veteran to highlight the new Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) and to encourage eligible Ohio veterans to apply.

“Just as we invest in our servicemembers while they’re on the battlefield, we should do the same when they return home,” Brown said. “The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program will help ensure that thousands of veterans can get retrained for new positions in high-demand jobs—and with the first wave of enrollment closing at the end of September, it’s critical that eligible Ohio veterans apply as quickly as possible for these critical benefits.”

Brown was joined on the call by Tony Blankenship, a jobless veteran from Martins Ferry. Mr. Blankenship is an Air Force veteran who served from 1991-2000. He was accepted into the VRAP program and plans to use the funds to study radiology at Belmont College this fall.

Brown was an original cosponsor of the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, a key provision of which is VRAP, which offers job retraining assistance to veterans between 35 and 60 years of age. According to the VA—which is administering the program along with the U.S. Department of Labor—VRAP offers up to 12 months of training assistance to unemployed veterans.

Between July 1 and September 30, 2012, VRAP will accept applications from up to 45,000 participants for retraining assistance, and an additional 54,000 veterans can apply for assistance between October 1, 2012, and March 31, 2014. Participants must be enrolled in a VA-approved education program offered by Ohio’s community colleges or technical schools. The program must lead to an Associate Degree, Non-College Degree, or a Certificate, and train the Veteran for a high-demand occupation.

The VRAP offers 12 months of training assistance to Veterans who:

  • Are at least 35 but no more than 60 years old
  • Are unemployed on the date of application
  • Received an other than dishonorable discharge
  • Are not eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g.: the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Assistance)
  • Are not receiving VA compensation due to unemployability; and
  • Are not enrolled in a federal or state job training program

Veterans can apply for VRAP assistance online by visiting the VA’s eBenfits page. Brown also released a county-by county map of Veterans Service Commission (VSC) sites where veterans can receive assistance in applying for VRAP funding. 

Below is a list of Ohio’s Community and Technical colleges where veterans can use VRAP funding to prepare for careers in high-demand occupations listed here



Belmont College


Central Ohio Technical College


Cincinnati State Technical and Community College


Clark State Community College

Clark, Greene

Columbus State Community College


Cuyahoga Community College


Eastern Gateway Community College


Edison Community College


Hocking College


Lakeland Community College


Lorain County Community College


Marion Technical College


North Central State College


Northwest State Community College


Owens Community College

Hancock, Lucas

Rhodes State College


Rio Grande Community College


Sinclair Community College


Southern State Community College


Stark State College


Terra Community College


Washington State Community College


Zane State College