College Opens New Veterans Resource and Outreach Center

November 10, 2021

VET-ROC ribbon cutting

On the eve of Veterans Day 2021, Hudson Valley Community College officially opened its new Veterans Resource and Outreach Center (VET-ROC) in the Siek Campus Center.

The VET-ROC is the focal point for veterans and the military-connected community on campus. Located on the first floor of the campus center, it houses the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Program of Rensselaer County, which offers non-clinical peer-to-peer support for any Rensselaer County veteran and works to help all Capital Region veterans reintegrate into civilian society.

Seventy years ago, the Veterans Vocational Institute – the forerunner of what was to become Hudson Valley Community College – was established with the goal of providing career training for veterans returning from World War Two and the Korean War. Through the decades, the college has continued to offer focused services and educational opportunities for active-duty military members and student veterans and has established numerous scholarships aimed at veterans or those currently serving in the Armed Forces. Now serving approximately 300 student veterans each year, the college is cementing its ongoing commitment to veterans’ education with the creation of this new center.

“As we look ahead to Veterans Day, we are proud to demonstrate that Hudson Valley remains a veteran-friendly institution committed to helping all who have served our nation,” said President Roger Ramsammy. “Our new Veterans Resource and Outreach Center is an invaluable resource for hundreds of students and residents of our greater community. I extend my thanks to those who have worked so hard to make our vision for a new home for military students and student veterans a reality.”

Funds for establishing the center came through a bi-partisan effort in the New York State Legislature to fund the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Programs in counties across the state. The peer-to-peer support program has proven successful in assisting veterans since it was first established in Suffolk County in 2012 and has grown across the state since then. The program is named in honor of Joseph Dwyer, an Iraq War veteran from Long Island.

Rensselaer County was awarded $145,000 in this year’s state budget to implement the program, and Hudson Valley Community College was seen as a logical place to house it and its two full-time staff members. Assemblyman Jake Ashby, a veteran and college alumnus, was crucial in helping secure the funds.

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