Rochester, NY - A program that helps local veterans find jobs, may soon shut down.
The Veteran's Outreach Center is in jeopardy of losing federal funding for VWIP, or the Veteran's Workforce Investment Program.
Valerie Pitka is about to get her master's degree from RIT.
The Navy reservist spent seven years in active duty aboard the U.S.S. Truman and U.S.S Enterprise.
Armed with the skills she learned at the VOC, she is looking for a job in the human resources industry.
"Just everything from resume writing to setting me up with interviews, and everything from all the services that come inbetween that to finding a permanent position."
Pitka is about to complete VWIP.
It's a training and employment program at the VOC, that's helped nearly 800 area veterans find jobs since 2006.
Despite the program's success, the funding will run out at the end of next month and the Department of Labor has not promised to renew it.
Senator Chuck Schumer says it may force all of that success to come to a screeching halt.
He said "Rochester's advanced manufacturing, healthcare and green energy and optics industries are moving ahead very quickly like a freight train but our local vets are gonna be left behind if they don't have the skills to climb aboard. It's that simple."
VWIP also includes a partnership with BOCES, where some veterans can get hands-on-training in new, green technologies.
The VOC's Vice President of Programs and Services Peter Blind said "One Hundred percent of the vets that gradute from the program that BOCES provides training in are placed in jobs in the Rochester area. 100% is pretty darn good, you cant beat it."
The VOC is the only facility in the state to offer VWIP.
Pitka hopes the government will continue the funding to help her fellow veterans achieve their goals in civilian life.
She added "It will be an exceptional loss for the community because we have come here for so many things."
The Department of Labor has given the VOC close to $600,000 for the program.
If they decide not to continue that funding, Senator Schumer promised to help the center find some way to keep the program going.