NEW YORK, Nov. 14, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning this month, veterans in New York can use GI Bill benefits to access training through General Assembly, the pioneering provider of accelerated tech training programs designed to equip job-seekers with in-demand skills. Veterans who are eligible for GI Bill benefits are able to take one of two General Assembly immersive training programs in web development and user experience design. These programs are designed to help students gain the necessary skills to secure jobs in the digital economy, regardless of past technology training.
"So many of us are trying to figure out how to transfer our military skills, and being a web developer is incredibly in-demand. There are jobs all over the country for it, and I urge veterans to explore the opportunities available," said Scott Pierce, a Marine Corps Reservist who took General Assembly's Web Development Immersive in Washington, DC. "The most value I got out of General Assembly was the training, but the value-add was the career coaching. Because it's integral from day one, by the end, my classmates and I had built up skills and portfolios that made us ready for the job search, and really built my confidence."
Today, the unemployment rate for New York veterans hovers at 5.6 percent, compared with an overall state rate of 4.9 percent. Rates of unemployment are highest for veterans who are women or people of color.
The new eligibility reflects General Assembly's longstanding commitment to designing programs tailored to the unique challenges – and opportunities – faced by veterans. To date, over 300 former service members have participated in General Assembly's immersive training programs. In addition to offering a tuition discount to veterans, General Assembly has also provided $5.7 million in scholarships to veterans through its Opportunity Fund, a scholarship program designed to promote pathways for underserved and overlooked talent into tech careers. General Assembly has also partnered with the Veterans Administration (VA) on a pilot program as part of the VA's TechHire commitment, which linked training in web development to veterans in all of General Assembly's United States markets.
"As a beneficiary of the GI Bill after a career with the Coast Guard, I am thrilled that more veterans will now have the opportunity to quickly acquire digital skills that provide a clear pathway to meaningful new careers," said Scott Kirkpatrick, President and Chief Operating Officer at General Assembly. "I know firsthand how difficult the transition from military service can be, and General Assembly is committed to helping ease that transition by equipping New York's veterans with the skills to compete in today's rapidly changing economy."
"I grew up in a small town, and the only way to get out was to join the military – I didn't want to go to college, and I didn't have the money for it, so I joined the Navy," said Casey Gil, a graduate of General Assembly's Web Development Immersive in Washington, DC. "When I first got out, I was turned down by all the big cybersecurity firms, who said, 'come back in a few years when you have a college degree.' Instead, I went to General Assembly and am now working full-time as a cyber defense analyst."
Headquartered in New York City, General Assembly offers employer-designed, practitioner-taught training in high-demand fields like data, technology, design, and business. With more than 40,000 graduates across 20 campuses worldwide, General Assembly builds transparent career pathways for individuals and helps businesses create sustainable and diverse talent pipelines. Based on an independent review of data from 2014 and 2015, 99 percent of participants in General Assembly's full-time immersive programs who participated in career services secured jobs in less than six months.