Transition Programs
1:59 pm
Sun April 6, 2014

Educational Opportunities for Veterans

Many Virginians go into the military hoping to retain skills that will provide career opportunities once they leave the armed forces. Homeless and jobless rates continue to rise because Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are finding it difficult to get certification or college credits for their training to qualify for civilian jobs.   But at least one group studying the issue is developing short-term solutions to this problem. 
Tommie McNeil reports from Richmond.

The National Governor's Association Virginia Veterans' Licensing and Certification Working Group is on track to help veterans transition into “bridge programs” at two- and four-year colleges. Dr. Bruce Brunson, Executive Director for the Center for Military and Veterans Education at Tidewater Community College, says they still need to take care of themselves and their families during the interim.

If they pursue a medical profession degree, they could get certified as an EMT within a few weeks.  The group is also studying options for Physical Therapist Assistants and Licensed Practical Nurses.  Brunson also says some veterans are more than qualified to perform job duties, but the employer requires a degree—so it would be helpful if employers relaxed some of those requirements. He also recommends that more employers pitch in for veterans’ job-training courses.