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FAA Program To Train Disabled Vets For ATC Jobs

"A Hero to the Nation, A Hero to the Skies" To Be Unveiled April 10

The FAA's new program, "A Hero to the Nation, A Hero to the Skies," will enable disabled veterans to train for positions as ATC and transportation specialists, reported the Marine Corps Times.

The number of positions available and details on how disabled vets can apply for training will be revealed at an April 10 news conference hosted by Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, Senate Veterans' Affairs (VA) Committee chairman.

The program announcement will be made by FAA Administrator Marion Blakey and senior Department of Veterans Affairs and Pentagon officials.

The idea, according to FAA spokesman Hank Price, is to use an existing VA vocational rehabilitation program to train disabled veterans for specific federal jobs. A component of the FAA's 2007 resource management plan focuses on veterans and veterans' service organizations aiding in filling critical jobs.

An existing FAA program, which targets former military air traffic controllers, waives the entry age limit of 31, allowing military ATC retirees to be hired for 10-year appointments. Under that program, participants start with an entry salary of more than $50,000 and can work until age 56.

VA and FAA cooperation securing jobs for disabled veterans illustrates how government can assist former service members without the need to develop new federal programs, reported the Maine Corps Times, "something the Bush administration has been trying to emphasize as it attempts to quiet efforts in Congress to greatly increase the VA's budget."

FMI: www.faa.gov

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