Alicia Vet Tec

Shaping the Future of VET TEC

The team at Code Platoon understands the importance of working with the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure Veterans can use their VA Education Benefits to find careers. Over the past five years, we have been a leading provider of VET TEC, and I have had the incredible opportunity to shape the pilot program’s future. 

Adopting the VET TEC Pilot Program

VET TEC is an innovative VA Education Benefit allowing Veterans to attend high-technology training programs and find careers after graduation. The VET TEC pilot program began in 2019, with Code Platoon among the first three approved providers to train Veterans. One of my roles at Code Platoon is to complete all of the electronic filings to the VA and be the point of contact for both the VA and students.

I have seen first-hand how the VET TEC program is a lifeline for non-traditional Veteran learners eager to find a career in high technology. When the pandemic forced code schools to move their training online, Code Platoon was prepared to serve the increase in Veterans interested in our training programs. Enrollment spiked because VET TEC allowed these Veterans to train remotely.

VET TEC providers continue to see high job placement outcomes for thousands of Veterans. Code Platoon has trained 168 Veteran students via VET TEC. During the pandemic, our graduating class from January 2021 had 100% job placement within six months of graduation. Our remote programs have had the same or better placement rates than in-person.

Founding the VET TEC Working Group

While VET TEC is similar to the GI Bill, there are meaningful differences that approved providers have to navigate. To help improve providers’ understanding of VET TEC, I started the VET TEC Working Group in 2019. What began as an ad-hoc call among three to five providers is now a monthly meeting with more than 50 consistent attendees. Providers describe these calls as “the best training we receive each month.”

Representatives from The Department of Veterans Affairs also participate in the VET TEC Working Group. By creating consistent and open lines of communication between providers and the VA teams, we can address problems quickly and help Veterans use the VET TEC program efficiently. This collaboration has dramatically increased the success of VET TEC and positioned the program to become permanent as we near the end of the five-year pilot program.

Testifying for “Forever VET TEC”

I was recently invited to testify before the House Veterans Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. As the only VET TEC provider on the panel, I shared my unique experiences with Congress and helped write the VET TEC Authorization Act of 2023. This act, nicknamed “Forever VET TEC,” would make VET TEC a permanent program.

During the hearing, I discussed the history of VET TEC, the providers’ and Veterans’ experiences during the pilot program, and the opportunities to help more Veterans find meaningful employment as VET TEC becomes permanent. My full testimony and the drafted VET TEC Authorization Act of 2023 are available publicly on the website.

While in Washington, DC, I also met with Congressional stakeholders in the VET TEC program. I had the opportunity to advise the following:

  • Juan Ciscamoni, U.S. House of Representatives and lead sponsor of the VET TEC Authorization Act of 2023
  • Joseph Garcia, Executive Director of Educational Services, Veterans Benefits Administration
  • Schnell Carraway, Policy and Regulation Lead, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Faye Fernandez, Counsel for US Senate
  • Kelsey Baron, Senior Professional Staff Member and Defense Policy Advisor for Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
  • Ally Cimino, Deputy General Counsel, US House of Representatives
  • Nicholas Ayers, Senior Legislative Assistant to Rep. Juan Ciscamoni
  • Katy Flynn, General Counsel and Staff Director, Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity for US House of Representatives
  • Chase Bergerson, Legislative Assistant, Committee on Veterans’ Affairs for US House of Representatives

The bi-partisan and collaborative approach to “Forever VET TEC”  illustrates the seriousness with which the VA, Congress, and Code Platoon are operating to ensure that VET TEC is available to Veterans for many years to come. 

Alicia Boddy serves as the Director of Partnerships for Code Platoon. In this role, she focuses on building relationships with partners, including companies that provide apprenticeships and preferred hiring opportunities to Code Platoon graduates. She works closely with the Executive Director focusing on strategic planning, regulatory approvals and compliance, and student services, including admissions, enrollment, and Career Services. She is the School Certifying Official, the main point of contact for the VA and students. Alicia is a Concordia University, Chicago and The Ohio State University graduate.

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