1666 K Street,NW, Suite 500, Washington,D.C. 20006, c/o Gerald Yamada, Esq.


IMMEDIATE  RELEASE:                                              Vol. II

April 15 2007                                                                      No. 32


CONTACT:   Contact: Henry J. Price, Phone: (202) 267-3883;

                                          hank.price@faa.gov. FAA

                                         Terry Shima (301-987-6746; ttshima@worldnet.att.net


FOR PHOTO:    Go to JAVA website, www.javadc.org, see press release.  Picture embedded in appropriate release.

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Federal Aviation Administration

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Veterans with disabilities will have access to on-the-job training to become air traffic controllers or technicians installing and repairing air traffic equipment, thanks to a new program aimed at helping those who serve transition into the civilian workforce.

The unveiling of the program took place on April 10, 2007 at an event on Capitol Hill attended by Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-HI, a leader on veterans’ issues, and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Undersecretary for Benefits RADM  Daniel L. Cooper.  Representatives of veterans service organizations, including the Japanese American Veterans Association, also participated.

L-R: Marion C. Blakey, FAA Administrator; Senator Inouye; VADM Daniel L. Cooper, USN, Ret.  Photo:  FAA

"Providing disabled veterans with the job skills they need to succeed here at home after serving their country must remain a high priority for this Congress," said Senator Daniel K. Inouye, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, who is a World War II combat veteran who earned the nation's highest award for military valor, the Medal of Honor. "The Veterans Employment Program is an ideal way for our nation to show its gratitude for the sacrifices our men and women in uniform have, and continue to make, every day."

Called “A Hero to the Nation – A Hero to the Skies,” this joint effort between the agency and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will enable veterans to take advantage of VA vocational rehabilitation benefits, while training for air traffic control and airway transportation systems specialist positions. VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program provides a transition for veterans with disabilities into the civilian workforce through on-the-job-training programs administered by FAA.

“America is indeed the land of opportunity, and we as a nation are compelled to give our veterans with disabilities every chance to prosper,” said Marion C. Blakey, Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration. “These heroes deserve no less.” 

Veterans will be trained at the FAA’s Academy in Oklahoma City, OK, and will complete the same training requirements as other employees in similar positions. After successfully completing the program, they will be eligible for an FAA appointment and will enter the selection process. As an added benefit, FAA officials expect the program will contribute significantly to the agency’s air traffic controller hiring goals, and will help attain its goal of long-term career placement for veterans.

“Veterans make ideal employees — and they are deserving of every opportunity we can provide,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson, a Vietnam veteran. “The skills and disciplines learned in the military, coupled with their dedication and maturity, make them an asset to any employer. I’m pleased to join with Administrator Blakey and the FAA in enhancing the post-military career prospects for our nation’s defenders.”

Veterans with disabilities interested in the program must apply through the VA’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) offices located in each state. Information on the VR&E program can be found at www.vetsuccess.gov  30