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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

WCC Is GI Friendly

GI Jobs magazine included WCC on its list of the most military friendly institutions for 2012. One reason for that distinction is that the College allows military personnel who are called to active service the opportunity to return without penalty.

As more troops return from active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan over the next year, they will find a lot of support at WCC geared for their unique needs.

Many Take Advantage of GI Benefits

Veterans, along with their spouses and dependents, may qualify for help financing college through the Department of Veterans Affairs. 

“The Post-9/11 educational benefit is used by most veterans today,” said Andrea Reilly, who certifies WCC students that qualify. “Other benefits are available depending on their eligibility, which is determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs.”

Reilly works with almost 200 veterans each semester. It’s a responsibility she has enjoyed for more than 10 years. Each Veteran’s Day she sends a letter to her vets thanking them for serving their country. “I try to do anything possible to help,” she said. “I feel that it’s the least I can do for all they’ve done for us. And seeing them graduate after everything they’ve done is such an emotional moment.”

The WCC Veterans Office is located on the second floor of the Student Center building in the Student Connection. Its hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm. For information about using veterans benefits at WCC, visit the Veterans Information webpage.

Training Offered For Unemployed Vets

In January 2012, WCC begins a special program for unemployed and underemployed veterans seeking defense industry jobs. Funded by the Department of Defense, the program combines advanced welding and fabrication, CNC operation, blueprint reading and layout, and measurement equipment operation. Military-grade materials will be used.

Prerequisites include a minimum of 120 hours of MIG and TIG welding experience or successful completion of WAF 105 at WCC. Vets completing the program will receive certification from the American Welding Society and employment assistance. For more information, contact Gregory Mitchell at Michigan Works, 734-544-6729 or mitchelg@ewashtenaw.org.

VA Rep Is Available On Campus For Vets and Their Families

A representative from the Veterans Health Administration will be on campus each week to assist students. Brittany Powers is available to meet with any veteran, family member, friend, faculty, or staff interested in finding out more about what the Veterans Health Administration has to offer. She can provide information about:

  • VA health care enrollment and eligibility
  • Health care benefits and assistance with navigating VA health care
  • Mental health care options
  • Other available VA benefits

She is located in the Counseling and Career Planning office on the second floor of the Student Center building. Her hours are Mondays from noon to 4:00pm and Wednesdays from 9:00am to noon.

New Student Group Connects Vets

In 2011, several veterans on campus formed the WCC Corps of Student Veterans. Although the group is still in the early stages of becoming strong and viable, members stepped up to sponsor the U.S. Marine Corp’s Toys for Tots program at the College in December.

The group meets at 3:30pm every other Wednesday in Room 275 of the Crane Liberal Arts and Science building. For more information, contact Robert Nelson, club president.

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