Free veterans training at VC extended through February

A program at Victoria College to help train military veterans for jobs in the petrochemical industry has been extended to Feb. 28. Registration is underway for the next class which begins in September.

The Veteran and Industry Partnership (VIP), offered at Victoria College through the Texas Workforce Commission, was initiated to update job skills for veterans and supply a skilled and ready workforce for some of the state’s most high-demand industries. Veterans who enroll can choose free training in the electrical, millwright, pipefitting or welding fields. Training is provided on a fast-track, rapid-deployment basis with a focus on immediate job placement upon completion.

Rachel Nessel, VC’s Workforce & Continuing Education assistant director, said Victoria College is proud to participate in this program to assist area veterans.

"We are excited that our Veterans and Industry Partnership grant has been extended so that we can train additional veterans in high-demand occupations,” Nessel said. “Since the beginning of the grant, Victoria College has trained 13 local veterans, and we are actively looking for participants to take advantage of this free training opportunity.”

Students completing the training earn NCCER certification, an industry-recognized credential for construction and maintenance craftsmen.

All eligible U.S. veterans can participate in the VIP initiative, but the training at Victoria College is limited to 32 participants. Sixteen of those slots have been filled by veterans who have signed up for training classes this year, Nessel said.

David Ramos recently completed VC’s core curriculum class and is now taking electrical training through the grant. The Army and Texas Air National Guard veteran said he enjoys the hands-on training and learning from his instructor.

"Just listening to the instructor tell us about his experience on the job lets me know I made the right field choice,” Ramos said. “I would highly recommend this training to other veterans so they can know what it feels like to learn something new or different.”

Ramos plans to seek employment where he can learn from experienced electricians.

Veterans applying to the VIP initiative at Victoria College must submit their DD-214 Report of Separation form. To qualify for the training, they must not be currently serving on active duty or in the reserves, or have been dishonorably discharged from military service.

TWC has designated $4.3 million from the state’s Skills Development Fund to establish the Veteran and Industry Partnership, which brings together industry associations, local Workforce Solutions partners and community colleges to offer training in key industry occupations for veterans. Local workforce development boards have partnered with industry leaders and 17 colleges throughout Texas to identify high-demand workforce needs in local areas and develop expedited training programs for veterans as part of the VIP initiative.

To register, or for more information, contact Rachel Nessel at (361) 582-2575 or email

Published: Thursday, 30 July 2015

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