Veterans

You've just returned from courageously honoring your commitment to your country, and now you're ready to concentrate on what life has to offer next. The Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) has programs that can help you look forward to a future of employment and possibilities. The apprenticeship programs and the on-the-job-training (OJT) program allow you to learn the skills for a lifelong career, while earning money and collecting your Montgomery GI Bill benefit. There are a wide variety of career opportunities that include not only construction related trades but healthcare, manufacturing, firefighting, culinary and auto mechanics, among others.

Any occupation that requires at least one year of training and related and supplemental instruction classes can be made apprenticeable. This enables you to receive pay as you learn and collect your GI Benefit. In the beginning when your apprenticeship paycheck is the smallest, you receive the largest GI benefit to which you are eligible. The payments decline as your apprenticeship salary increases. If the apprenticeship program is long enough, you can receive all the money in the GI fund to which you are eligible. You may find work with one of the existing apprenticeship programs, or you may seek out a job that qualifies and ask the employer to contact DAS and set up an apprenticeship program.

In distinction to apprenticeships, if a program requires two years or less of training and does not require related and supplemental education, the job may qualify as an OJT program therefore qualifying you to receive your GI Bill benefit. If you find a job that requires OJT but they do not have an official program set up, have the employer can contact DAS for information on how to do so and what the benefits to the employer are.

The DAS programs offer flexibility, honor you as a veteran by enabling you to collect your earned GI Bill benefit and set you on a life long career path.

For more information on the variety of existing apprenticeship programs visit http://www.dir.ca.gov/databases/das/aigstart.asp.

For more information on your Montgomery GI Bill and eligibility visit www.gibill.va.gov.

For more information on job opportunities visit the Employment Development Department at www.edd.ca.gov.

Also keep in mind that the DAS programs offer many opportunities for your spouse, as well. A spouse, however, does not collect GI Bill benefits unless he/she is a veteran.