Finding jobs for unemployed Veterans - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Driving big rigs could be the answer for jobless veterans

Starting July 1, more veterans could be hitting the roads in these big rigs. Starting July 1, more veterans could be hitting the roads in these big rigs.
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

They fight for our country, but for many service men and women, finding work after the Armed Forces can be tough.  Retired First Sergeant Derrick Gibson knows that reality too well.

"They were telling me that I was a good candidate, but not what they were looking for.  I was seeking more employment and couldn't find employment.  So, I decided to become a truck driver," said Gibson.

According to the United States Department of Labor, about 12% of veterans who served in the Armed Forces since 2001 were unemployed last year. The Labor Department and the Department of Veterans Affairs are pushing a new program to get veterans more jobs.

Starting July 1, more veterans could be hitting the roads in big rigs. 

Last week, truck driving was added to list of more than 200 jobs for unemployed veterans with the new Veteran Retraining Assistance Program.  Brad Barber with the Georgia Driving Academy in Columbus says they have already seen an interest.

"It is an extra incentive for individuals to have some funds available that will assist them into getting into a training program,"

To receive up to 12 months of education assistance for a Department of Veterans Affairs approved program, veterans must be between 35 and 60 years old.  Veterans must be unemployed and not be eligible for any other VA education benefit. 

Also, veterans cannot be in receipt of VA compensation due to unemployability and they cannot be enrolled in a federal or state job training program. Gibson now works for driving school, and he says the new program could change the lives of so many unemployed veterans.

"It gives you a sense of purpose.  You are getting out there.  You are part of the community.  You are getting gainful employment, positive employment."

The following link contains the occupations offered by the Veteran Retraining Assistance Program.  You will also find a list of the qualifications for the program and how you can apply.

 

 

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