Posted by: lcowie | December 29, 2009

GI Bill Covers Cost of LEED Exam

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs recently announced its newest efforts to support the military by saying it would reimburse veterans for the cost of any LEED exam they wish to take. Eligible veterans include dependents and reservists who have taken a LEED exam since December 3, 2008.

As the green industry matures and prospers, a multitude of new career opportunities will surface for those with green training and knowledge. Peter Templeton, president of the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), recognizes that LEED expertise offers these new skills, credentials and opportunities for veterans.

At a time when many industries are declining, the green movement has emerged as the quintessential hope for a new and improved environment, economy and future. Now is the time to enhance one’s career, or learn a new trade, by positioning oneself as being on the cutting edge of the green movement.

The VA says it will cover up to $2,000 in exam fees. As the LEED exams range from $100-450, depending on type of test and whether or not an applicant is a USGBC member, it appears as though the VA will cover the exam cost of a LEED AP exam, in addition to a LEED Green Associate exam, which is the mandatory first step.

To qualify for reimbursement, veterans must apply directly to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. This reimbursement comes from a portion of one’s GI Bill.

The GI Bill cannot reimburse one for preparation prior to an exam, however, Everblue will. Starting January 1, 2010, Everblue will reserve two complimentary seats for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans at each of its LEED Green Associate exam prep courses. With the help of Everblue and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, one may enroll in an exam prep course, take more than one LEED exam and attain more than one green credential at no cost.

The GI Bill indicates that one may receive benefits to retake a test he or she did not pass. Also, one may receive benefits to retake a test for recertification or to retain a license one already has.

LEED expertise increases one’s marketability to potential employers. Although attaining a LEED credential can be beneficial for one’s career, this benefit does not compare to the invaluable acknowledgment of support from third-party organizations. It becomes clear that Everblue, as well as the Green Building Certification Institute, truly support America’s veterans and earnestly want to see them succeed.

For more information on GI Bill certification reimbursement, please see this VA pamphlet.

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