Congressman Glenn Thompson was at Saint Francis University earlier this month to announce a grant that will help veterans get back to work more easily.
The university’s Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation received the Veterans Accelerated Learning for Licensed Occupations Project, or VALLO, Grant through the U.S. Department of Labor.
The $1M grant will help the university launch the new Veterans Accelerated Learning Program, or VALP.
“It’s meant to make the education system more efficient and be able to meet our workforce needs and honor our veterans with what they’ve done,” Congressman GT Thompson said.
The grant will also provide scholarships for money that is not covered by the G.I. bill.
Veterans and Occupational Regulation
Studies have found that many veterans have a difficult time re-entering the workforce after their military service has ended and often face occupational licensing barriers. The requirements to obtain specific licenses can be costly and time-consuming, and are often a deterrent for those looking to start a small business.
Through VALP, veterans will be able to enroll in the majority of programs at Saint Francis University that require licensure after obtaining a degree. SFU’s versatile programs provide an opportunity for veterans to obtain degrees and licenses quicker and with fewer obstructions, thus transitioning into Pennsylvania’s workforce at a faster rate.
Saint Francis University was named a “Military Friendly School” for the ninth straight year. This designation reflects the high standards upheld by the university in serving military families. Francis Worldwide, a newly-launched school at SFU, offers fully online, in-person, and hybrid degrees for the convenience of adults, working professionals, and those looking to advance their career.
A priority at CSOR, a non-partisan academic research center, is to seek a better understanding of the challenges veterans face as they return to civilian life. In 2018 the state of Pennsylvania hired CSOR as its lead contractor for the 3-year DOL project, permitting the Center to spearhead the research of military spouse portability, skill set transferring, and the demographic data of PA licenses.
"Depending on your position in the armed forces, you may need to start your education and training over again to satisfy the regulation for that particular license," said Alanna Wilson, Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Relations at CSOR. "This may not only help reduce the unemployment rate of veterans but also for civilians," Wilson said. "Being able to bring different skills into the workplace that can only be obtained while serving our country can benefit the workplace. It's our duty to help serve them with something larger than ourselves in the civilian life."
Enrollment is open for Fall 2019 and admission to the VALP program is free to veterans.
Photo: L to R
Front row: Ethan Bayne (CSOR), Brandon Leech (CSOR Graduate Assistant), Tina Pelesky (PA Dept. of State, BPOA), Dr. Edward Timmons (CSOR), Congressman Glenn Thompson, Father Malachi, Tom Caulfield (Veterans Community Initiatives, inc), Josh Hauser (Veterans Community Initiatives, inc).
Back Row: Alexis Schumacher (CSOR), Alex Kiepert (SSOB Student), Conor Norris (CSOR), Dr. Larry Nulton, Easton Plummer (CSOR Graduate Assistant), Dr. John Miko (SSOB, Associate Dean), Emily Vargo (CSOR).
Learn more at francis.edu/valp