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New law extends job program five more years for Colorado veteran - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

New law extends job program five more years for Colorado veterans

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

In the last couple years, the Mt. Carmel Veterans Service center has watched a pilot program change the lives of Colorado veterans.

"It's completely an exhilarating experience right now just to see the difference from back when I transitioned out and to see all of the resources and actually know about the resources that are available now to the veterans that are getting out," said Navy Veteran Sacorra Ned, who now works at Mt. Carmel.

The pilot program allowed non-profits to partner with workforce centers around the state--using grant money--to equip veterans with skills training, internships, career counseling, and work placement as they transitioned into the workforce.

"You've got to be able to translate your leadership skills, your ability to build a team, your ability to solve complex problems into a resume that makes sense for somebody in a specific industry."

The program was set to expire, though, at the end of this year--until Friday.

Governor John Hickenlooper signed a bill, at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center, that will extend the program another five years, and make veterans' spouses eligible for the services.

"It will actually be able to employ workers to be able to help them.  It will allow them to go through different training programs and have resources on their own,' said Ned.

Governor Hickenlooper told veterans Colorado Springs was the ideal place to sign the bill.

"El Paso County has always been the heart and soul of our appreciation of the military.  That's not just Fort Carson and not just Peterson Air Force Base--but also all the veterans that have settled here," he told News5 early Friday evening.

The program's funding, which is over half a million dollars (with the option of more appropriated funds), will come from the state's Marijuana Cash Fund.

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