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May 23, 2023

King, Cramer Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Extend Successful Program Helping Veterans Access High-Tech Careers

Facing expiration, the VET-TEC Authorization Act would make the program permanent to empower America’s transitioning servicemembers and veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Angus King (I-Maine) and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), members of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, have introduced a bipartisan bill to expand a successful veteran career training program. The VET-TEC Authorization Act would permanently authorize the Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VET-TEC) program that help veterans access high-technology jobs. The program provides tuition at eligible training institutions, housing stipends, and connections with potential employers.

Since its start in 2017, VET-TEC has helped thousands of veterans get jobs in the technology sector with an average starting salary of over $65,000 – but current authorization for the program expires in May of 2023.

“The VET-TEC program has been an exceptional resource for thousands of veterans looking for good-paying jobs in the tech sector,” said Senator King. “The VET-TEC Authorization Act would permanently authorize the successful program while expanding eligibility for both veterans and training institutions. It’s a commonsense step to give even more veterans access to opportunities in tech and encourage the private sector to hire those who served. I appreciate Senator Cramer’s partnership on this bipartisan bill; I hope it can pass swiftly to expand on the proven benefits of the VET-TEC program.”

“The VET-TEC pilot program has helped establish effective pathways for veterans to launch their careers in tech. Our bill builds on its successes by making the program permanent and expanding participants’ eligibility,” said Senator Cramer. “Supporting our veterans includes enhancing the resources and opportunities available to them.”

“At Student Veterans of America (SVA), we know not every veteran pursues a traditional higher education and that many are also interested in tech careers, like computer programming, data processing, computer software, and others. The VET-TEC pilot program helped them achieve their goals and resulted in meaningful employment for 66 percent of participants within half a year of completing it,” said Tammy Barlet, Vice President of Government Affairs at SVA. “SVA supports the VET-TEC Authorization Act of 2023, which represents an essential first step toward making this popular and effective program permanent. We thank Senators King and Cramer for introducing this vital legislation to solidify a successful pilot program.”

Created in 2017’s Forever G.I. Bill, the VET-TEC pilot program has 31 approved providers that have trained over 8,000 veterans, and helped thousands start high-tech jobs with an average starting salary of $65,061. The program is currently partnered with 14 employers including the VA’s own Office of Information and Technology, which seeks VET-TEC graduates for filling internal vacancies.

The VET-TEC Authorization Act would make the VET-TEC pilot program permanent with new funding to be appropriated every 5 years. It would also expand eligibility for the program, help new educational institutions become VET-TEC providers, and allow providers to offer-part time training programs.

Representing one of the states with the highest rates of veterans per capita, Senator King is a staunch advocate for America’s servicemembers and veterans. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, he has worked to ensure that veterans have access jobs and training after separating from military service. He recently cosponsored bipartisan legislation to provide veterans with job opportunities in the trucking industry.

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