The House of Representatives on May 24 voted to approve legislation that would permanently authorize the Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses (VEC-TEC) program, which is run by the Department of Veterans Affairs and subsidizes tuition for veterans training in technology fields.

The legislation passed with staggering bipartisan support of 409-9, after being introduced by Reps. Juan Ciscomani, R-Ariz., and Ro Khanna, D-Calif., earlier this year.

“The authorization of the VET-TEC training program will empower a new wave of veterans when transitioning from their time in uniform to the workforce,” said Rep. Ciscomani. “I am proud to have bipartisan support for this important effort and thrilled to see it coming one step closer to law.”

If the legislation becomes law, it would permanently fund the tech training program that was created a pilot in 2017, and launched in 2019.  Since its launch, 84 percent of participants have graduated from the program – representing a total of 12,000 veterans – according to Rep. Ciscomani.

“Every American should be able to participate in the digital revolution,” said Rep. Khanna. “Our veterans have a unique set of experiences and skills to offer, and we need to ensure there’s a permanent pipeline to bring those future innovators into our 21st century workforce.”

The program provides interested veterans with support for education in the following fields:

  • Computer Software;
  • Computer Programing;
  • Data Processing;
  • Information Science; and
  • Media Applications.

Sens. Angus King, I-Maine, and Kevin Cramer, R-N,D., have introduced similar legislation that would also permanently establish the program.

“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,” said Sen. King.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.