Veterans Affairs Innovation Initiative Deploys Troop ID Technology for TechShop Veterans Skill Training Program

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Two thousand free, one-year memberships will be made available to Veterans to build their skills and become more competitive in the job market

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Troop ID is proud to facilitate this critical initiative for the Veteran community. The TechShop initiative aligns directly with our mission to recognize a life of service.

Veteran owned and operated Troop ID announced today that the Department of Veterans Affairs Innovation Initiative (VAi2) has integrated Troop ID as its military identification verification partner for its TechShop program. TechShop is a membership-based, do-it-yourself workshop and fabrication studio that supports a growing community of makers and innovators.

The VAi2 TechShop program announced earlier this year will provide memberships for veterans interested in building their skills across several tracks in manufacturing and digital fabrication in order to become more competitive in the job market or develop into successful entrepreneurs or inventors. Under the VAi2 pilot, two thousand one-year memberships will be made available to Veterans free of charge. Classes and personal instruction for Veterans will be included and available in five cities at the time of launch: Austin, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; Menlo Park, Calif.; Raleigh, N.C. and San Jose, Calif. Those five locations will be joined by new facilities opening in Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. in 2013. Veterans living in those areas can apply for memberships in the program at http://www.va.gov/VAi2/TechShop.asp.

“This effort supports the interest VA leadership has in finding new ways of providing Veterans with resources that help them to serve an important role in America's economy,” said Jonah Czerwinski, Director of the VA Innovation Initiative. “Troop ID is an exciting addition to our efforts. The Single Sign On technology allows Veterans to authenticate their identity, enroll in the program, and start taking advantage of the wealth of services that TechShop has to offer.”

Troop ID is groundbreaking technology that allows service members, veterans and their family members to verify their military affiliation online. Once a user has completed a verification process, they can then use the e-mail and password combination they used during sign-up to access exclusive military benefits while on participating sites across the web. Previously, brands had no way to verify military affiliation online and most were unwilling to offer benefits through their digital channels for fear of fraud and abuse.

“Troop ID is proud to facilitate this critical initiative for the Veteran community,” said Troop ID Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Blake Hall. “The TechShop initiative aligns directly with our mission to recognize a life of service. We are excited to connect more Veterans with the progressive programs and resources coming out of VAi2.”

Several large brands, including Under Armour and Telluride Ski Resort, have launched merchant partnerships with Troop ID since the product debuted on Veterans Day. The White House has commended Troop ID for the benefits the technology provides to military families, and Startup America has endorsed Troop ID as a resource for Startup America event organizers.

About VAi2
The VA Innovation Initiative (VAi2) launched in 2010 with the purpose of lowering the barrier of entry for innovative ways the private sector, non-profit, and academic communities can support VA as it pursues transformation into a 21st century agency expanding access, improving quality, increasing Veteran satisfaction, and controlling cost. In 2012, VAi2 becomes the VA Center for Innovation. http://www.va.gov/VAi2/

About Troop ID
Troop ID is a Single Sign On that allows members of the military community to claim benefits while online. Our mission is to recognize a life of service. Veterans, service members, and their immediate family members are eligible for Troop ID accounts although brands may further restrict eligibility for their promotion. Additional information may be found on the Troop ID web site: http://www.TroopID.com.

About TechShop
Founded in October 2006, TechShop is a membership-based, do-it-yourself (DIY) workshop and fabrication studio providing access to a vibrant community of creative people and more than $1 million worth of high quality machines, tools and software. TechShop offers classes, workshops, instruction and meet-ups for people of all ages and skill levels. TechShop is based in Menlo Park, Calif., with six locations nationwide. http://www.techshop.ws

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Lisa Throckmorton
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