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John of Phoenix
09-03-2009, 12:38 PM
I came across this and thought it sounds like a worthwhile project so I've contacted some friends to see if we can get something similar going here at ASU and/or some of the community colleges.

Offered for your consideration for your locale.

Disabled vets offered free training program

by Lt. Col. Rich Curry
507th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

9/3/2009 - TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- A free entrepreneurship training program is being offered to disabled veterans by Oklahoma State University at Stillwater.

The Veterans with Disabilities Entrepreneurship Program, or VEP, is designed to help disabled veterans launch and grow business ventures.

According to Michael H. Morris, Ph.D., head of Oklahoma State University's Department of Entrepreneurship, "More and more veterans are returning from the battlefield disabled -- our program helps these men and women attain the dream of becoming entrepreneurs. The Veterans with Disability Entrepreneurship Program, or VEP for short, is now accepting applications."

Applicants must be identified as disabled by the Veteran's Administration or Department of Defense authority based on a "service connected" disability resulting from participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom and/or Operation Enduring Freedom or have received a distinguished service honor or medal due to exemplary military service. This includes commendation or meritorious medals. Reservists are also eligible to enroll.

Professor Morris stated that VEP offers cutting edge, experiential training in entrepreneurship from world class faculty and an amazing cadre of successful entrepreneurs. The program is rigorous and engaging. Following an online pre-course, delegates come to Stillwater for an intense eight-day program, and then follow up with their ventures over 10 months. This year's program in Stillwater will run from Jan. 30 through Feb. 6, 2010. The application deadline is Oct. 1.

"We are targeting all disabled veterans, but especially those soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines disabled or distinguished during their service as part of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom," Professor Morris said.

"The VEP program is offered entirely free to those veterans who are accepted," he continued adding that the program covers the cost of travel to Stillwater, accommodation, the online and live courses, instructors, books, materials, all meals and outings during the program.

"We are hoping to introduce the program to as many veterans as possible, and to encourage them to apply. We will accept 30 delegates for the program this coming January.

For more information, visit http://entrepreneurship.okstate.edu/vep, call 744-5357 or e-mail vep@okstate.edu.

ccmanuals
09-03-2009, 12:45 PM
John, Luke AFB Public Affairs/Community Relations office is: (623) 856-5853. Make sure they know about the program going on at Tinker.

John of Phoenix
09-03-2009, 01:25 PM
Thanks Tom, that sounded like a great idea but when I called they said it would be a problem for the VA.

I'm going to get with the folks who set this up at OSU and see what they suggest.

John of Phoenix
09-03-2009, 01:46 PM
The more I learn, the more I'm impressed. Travel, lodging and meals are included.




1. Do I need to have a college degree, or have taken some college courses, to attend?
No. The VEP is designed to take any qualified students, regardless of prior educational experiences, through the steps and stages of starting a new business.
2. Are there spaces still available for this year's program?
Yes. We have 25 seats available in the VEP this summer. There is no application deadline, and these seats are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Early application is encouraged.
3. Are members of the National Guard and Reserves eligible for the program?
Yes. The only qualifications to be eligible for the program are a service-connected disability, military service post-9/11, and a passion for starting your own business.
4. You require two letters of recommendation: why? And who should these letters come from?
Starting a business is hard. The VEP program was developed and designed as an intense, rigorous program positioned to help those individuals with a drive, determination, and passion for business ownership take the first steps toward that goal. As such, we are seeking applicants who have demonstrated such drive and determination in their approach to life and work. Letters of recommendation from current or former co-workers, commanders, supervisors, counselors, etc., help us make such an assessment. Letters of recommendation from family members are discouraged.
5. Your program information states that all costs will be assumed by the VEP Host School. Does this include travel and lodging while attending the program?
Yes. It is our position that through your service, you have already earned the price of admission. We have assumed the responsibility to raise the necessary funds to cover all costs associated with the Program. Travel expenses, lodging, meals, and the cost of the program itself will be funded by the VEP program.
6. How will I get to and from the airport?
Transportation will be provided throughout the VEP residency for our delegates.
7. I have special dietary requirements. Can these be accommodated?
Yes, we will make every effort to accommodate these requests.