A local Realtor is teaming up with Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs on an initiative to encourage military veterans to become licensed real estate agents.

Under the new program, Metro Roberts Realty will pay 100 percent of the start-up expenses for a veteran to get licensed to sell real estate, including the costs of all required licensing classes, Multiple Listing Services dues and any other expenses. In all, such costs can exceed $3,000.

“Veterans are hard-working, highly disciplined and accustomed to overcoming obstacles,” said Metro Roberts Realty President Jim Roberts. “We believe a career in real estate will be a great fit and simply it’s the right thing to do for those who have given so much to our country.”

The effort, dubbed the “Metro Roberts Realty Veterans to Realtors Program” is designed to help veterans re-enter the workforce after returning from combat zones. It’s the newest partnership as part of Jacbos’ “Thank-A-Vet” discount program, which now has more than 400 participating merchants offering discounts for veterans.

Besides the agent training program, Metro Roberts will also offer a 12 percent discount on any commissions when the client is a veteran. “This is a very significant benefit to a veteran who buys or sells a home with Metro Roberts Realty,” Jacobs said.