East Valley Veterans Education Center (EVVEC) will open Tuesday in Tempe after months of planning.
The center will offer Arizona's veterans and their families educational, vocational and community resources. It was put together through a joint effort of Maricopa County's community colleges: Chandler-Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Gateway and Rio Salado. The center will be located at 2055 S. Cottonwood Drive, Tempe. A grand opening ceremony will be at 8:45 a.m., and includes Mayor Hugh Hallman and former congressman Harry Mitchell, as well as leaders from the colleges.
"We wanted to reach out to the thousands of Arizona veterans and provide them increased access to high-quality college programming," said Kishia Brock, vice president for student affairs at Rio Salado College. "The center acts as a one-stop shop for information about services and programs offered through the Maricopa Community Colleges."
At the center, veterans can receive information about tutoring and academic skill-building, assistance to apply for VA benefits, information about the Montgomery and Post-9/11 GI bills, and more. Families will also be able to use Skype communication with family members in the military.
There are about 3,000 veterans using education benefits in the community colleges coming together for the new center. Most - about 1,500 - are at Mesa Community College. Another 1,000 are taking classes through Rio Salado.
There are more than 568,000 veterans in Arizona.