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VA picks Columbia for initiative to increase education, jobs for veterans

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Staff Report
Published Oct. 16, 2015

Columbia is one of 25 communities receiving a program aimed at increasing education and employment opportunities to America’s veterans, the Veterans Affairs Department said.

The Veterans Economic Communities Initiative brings local and national partners together to coordinator services for veterans, service members and their families.

“History has shown that when you give veterans an opportunity to succeed, they go above and beyond,” Secretary Robert McDonald said. “And we as a nation owe them those opportunities to succeed. There is a tremendous amount of goodwill from the American people towards veterans; they want to help.”

The program is set to double, as it is already established in 25 other communities nationwide. Launched in May, it promotes local collaboration, dialogue and partnership among organizations which serve military personnel.

A VA economic liaison in each community expands and encourages this collaboration among private and public organizations that offer resources related to veteran education, training and employment. Communities were selected based on the size of transitioning service member and post-9/11 veteran populations, unemployment, employment opportunity and job growth and education spending.

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