Accessing Funding Support

Numerous resources exist for employers, sponsors, and apprentices that make it even easier to recruit veterans and transitioning service members and help ensure these apprentices succeed.


VA benefits through the GI Bill

Benefits for program employers/ sponsors

Many apprenticeship providers and employers aren’t GI Bill approved. Once approved, apprentices will be able to access substantial benefits that let you easily outcompete other organizations in recruiting top talent

Benefits for apprentices

  • A competitive wage that grows alongside their skills
  • A substantial monthly housing allowance for up to 36 months for eligible veterans using the Post-9/11 GI Bill or other GI Bill programs
  • A modest stipend for books and supplies

Steps to access

  1. Identify your VA State Approving Agency (VA SAA) director
  2. After making initial contact, you will need to provide your VA SAA with the appropriate forms, including the following at a minimum:
    1. Employer's Application to Provide Job Training, VA Form 22-8865
    2. Designation of Certifying Official, VA Form 22-8794—This form must be completed by a school official, who must contact their VA representative for a blank copy.
  3. If you plan to recruit veteran apprentices for a program across multiple states, speak with the VA SAA about using the “speed lane” through the Veterans Apprenticeship and Labor Opportunity Reform (VALOR) Act. For nationally Registered Apprenticeship programs, this prevents you from needing to repeat the approval process in each state where you plan to hire veteran apprentices.
    1. The type of housing benefits your apprentices receive can vary depending on how you register the program. By default, all apprentices will receive a monthly housing allowance (MHA) based on the address of your registered headquarters. Alternatively, you can work with your SAA to separately configure each of your firm’s sites so that veteran apprentices will receive an MHA tailored to their location.
    2. This requires additional documentation, including a new VA Form 22-8865 for each site. The VA allows you to compare rates offered to other programs in your area; alternatively, you can compare the MHA rates for your headquarters and different sites using a rate calculator.
    3. Ensure you have documentation that your program meets the DOL’s National Program Standard. Typically, this is a coversheet signed by the Administrator of the national Office of Apprenticeship. Alternatively, you can provide a DOL bulletin showing that your program or occupation(s) is registered as a national standard.

Limitations

  • To qualify for benefits, veterans must have served for at least 90 days; to qualify for the maximum benefit, they must have served for at least 36 months.
  • Veterans may only use their GI Bill benefits for 36 months total. If they have used their benefits for other educational opportunities previously, they may run out before the conclusion of their apprenticeship and thus lose their monthly housing allowance.
  • After the first six months, the value of the monthly housing allowance veterans receive will decrease by 20 percent for each subsequent six-month period.

Special Employer Incentive program

Benefits for program employers/sponsors

  • Reimbursements of up to 50 percent of qualifying apprentices’ wages
  • Reimbursement for cost of instruction, supplies, equipment, and more
  • VA support with education and accommodation

Benefits for apprentices

  • Direct support from a dedicated vocational rehabilitation counselor
  • A competitive wage that grows alongside their skill development
  • A modest additional subsistence allowance
  • Able to access GI Bill benefits for additional assistance

Steps to access

  1. The SEI program serves veterans who have a particularly challenging time finding employment because of various factors, such as few opportunities in their commuting area, disability, or skills mismatch. Case managers lead placement of participating veterans, but you can express your interest in serving as a potential employer by contacting your VA regional office to speak with a vocational rehabilitation and education (VR&E) specialist or by calling 800-827-1000.
  2. If the VA decides to place a veteran with you through the SEI program, you will need the following forms:
    1. VAF 20-8206, VA Statement of Assurance of Compliance with Equal Opportunity Laws
    2. Designation of Certifying Official, VA Form 22-8794—This form must be completed by a school official, who must contact their VA representative for a blank copy.
    3. VAF 28-1904, Arrangement to Train On The Job Disabled Veterans
    4. If applicable, VAF 28-1905m, Request for Supplies
    5. Payroll enrollment forms, such as SF 3881
  3. If your program is also approved for use with the GI Bill, eligible SEI-participating apprentices can choose to use the GI Bill’s monthly housing allowance in lieu of the SEI subsistence allowance (the GI Bill allowance is typically larger). Because both programs are tied to the terms of the apprenticeship, however, they can not be used sequentially within a single apprenticeship program.

Limitations

You can’t actively search for and hire participants for the SEI program and must instead rely on VR&E specialists reaching out to you with prospective apprentices seeking placement.


Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)

Benefits for program employers/sponsors

A tax credit valued at a maximum of $6,000–$24,000 (depending on the qualifying conditions of the employee) per qualified veteran

Benefits for apprentices

N/A

Steps to access

  1. IRS Notice 2012-13 defines veteran hires eligible for claiming the WOTC. This is summarized in brief on the IRS website and with more detail on page 2 of the WOTC eligibility desk aid.
  2. Within 28 days of a new hire’s start date, submit the following to your state workforce agency:
    1. IRS FORM 8850
    2. ETA Form 9061 or ETA Form 9062
  3. Eligibility for the WOTC is determined separately from other benefits and programs, allowing it to be used simultaneously with other services. A single employee can theoretically participate in the SEI program, use the GI Bill, and qualify their employer for a tax credit all at the same time.

Limitations

  • The WOTC only applies to new hires, and the eligible veterans must be approved before the hiring action is completed.
  • Many veterans will not provide eligibility for a WOTC. To qualify, veterans must be members of a family receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
  • Program (SNAP) benefits or have experienced at least four weeks of homelessness in the past year.

State-based incentives

Many states have their own programs to further incentivize veteran participation in apprenticeships—Montana, for example, provides a $1,500 tax credit for each new veteran apprentice. Check the resources provided by your state labor department to see if any might apply. Additionally, check this list for additional state tax credits and incentives to support your registered apprenticeship program.