As part of Chicago’s ongoing effort to support Chicago veterans, Mayor Emanuel and the Laborers Local 1092 announced today that the Department of Veterans’ Affairs will allow veterans participating in the Laborers Local 1092 Apprenticeship Program to receive continuing education benefits as outlined in the GI Bill. The benefits are expected to increase each veteran apprentice’s rate of pay to approximately match that of a journeyman construction laborer, providing valuable fiscal support to veterans as they complete their training and prepare to enter the workforce.
“The men and women who have so valiantly served our country deserve all the compassion and support we can offer them, as a nation and as a city,” says Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “I commend Laborers Local 1092 and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for thoughtfully giving members of our military a boost as they train for careers helping to build and improve their city.”
Saturday afternoon, Laborers Local 1092 will hold a short luncheon at which over thirty veteran apprentices currently participating in the apprenticeship program will be recognized for their service to the country, and can then apply to receive the pay benefits. Veterans who apply to the Apprenticeship Program in the future will also be eligible to apply for the benefits. “Laborers Local 1092 will continue to work to improve the City and the lives of our members, and we are proud of the service our members have given to our country,” adds Joe Healy, Business Manager of Laborers Local 1092.
Currently, over 120,000 veterans live in Chicago and the national unemployment rate for post-9/11 veterans is over 11 percent. The new apprenticeship benefits will complement the City’s “Returning Veterans Initiative,” launched by Mayor Emanuel in May 2012 to ensure every returning veteran has the tools they need to successfully transition back to civilian life and continue to serve this country from home.
“Chicago’s unions support our nation’s active service members and veterans. We know that employment here at home is one of the biggest challenges these men and women face once their service has been completed,” says Jorge Ramirez, President of the Chicago Federation of Labor, an umbrella organization representing labor unions throughout Cook County. “I applaud the Laborers and the city for what they are doing to help veterans find employment and qualify for federal government benefits through the Local 1092 Apprenticeship Program. We can’t do enough to thank our veterans or repay them for their sacrifice for their country.”
On Friday, Mayor Emanuel announced Service to Success, a new program from the City Colleges of Chicago that will allow veterans to get scholarship funding that will help them attend the City Colleges of Chicago. The program will also offer credit for skills acquired while serving the country.
The provision of benefits for veteran apprentices in the Local 1092 program was approved by Department of Veterans' Affairs State Approving Agency for Veterans' Education.
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