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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 1, 2008

Governor Blagojevich Announces Statewide Veterans Job Fair
Governor proclaims November as “Hire a Veteran Month”; Reminds employers about $600 tax credit for each veteran hired

CHICAGO – As veterans, like many Americans, struggle to find employment during the current national economic slowdown, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced that Illinois will host a series of job fairs across the state to help put veterans back to work. The Governor also proclaimed November “Hire a Veteran Month” and reminded employers about the new state income tax credit of up to $600 for every qualified veteran they hire. 
 
Veterans who have recently returned from service often have a difficult time finding employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, young male veterans (ages 18 to 24) who served since September 2001 had an unemployment rate of 11.2 percent in 2007.
 
“Illinois’ veterans have served their country with honor. Now unfortunately in this poor national economy, many veterans throughout the country are struggling to find work. But I am pleased to announce that today we can help these brave soldiers find employment through Illinois’ Statewide Veterans Job Fair,” Governor Blagojevich said.
 
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) will host the Statewide Veterans Job Fair, bringing together employers, veterans’ benefits-related agencies, and veterans’ service organizations.  The Statewide Veterans Job Fair will be held at the following locations: 
 
October 30, 2008
Quincy
John Wood Community College
Student Activity Center
1301 S. 48th Street
10 AM-1 PM
 

November 5, 2008
Collinsville
American Legion Post 365
1022 Vandalia Street
9 AM-1 PM
 
November 6, 2008
Bartonville
American Legion Post 979
4501 Airport Road
9 AM-2 PM
 
Effingham
VFW Post 1769
2304 Veterans Drive
9 AM-1 PM
 
Freeport
Freeport Public Library
50 W. Douglas Street
9 AM – 1 PM
 
Schaumburg
Schaumburg Public Library
130 S. Roselle Road
11 AM- 3 PM
 
Springfield
Camp Lincoln Guard Armory
Illinois Military Academy Training Center
1301 N. MacArthur Boulevard
3 PM-6 PM
 
 
November 7, 2008
Chicago
Richard J. Daley College
7500 S. Pulaski
9 AM-2 PM
 
Decatur
Richland Community College
Schilling Center
One College Park
9AM -1 PM
 
Marion
VFW Post 1301
201 East Longstreet
9 AM- 1 PM
 
Mt. Vernon
Rolland Lewis Center
800 S. 27th
9 AM- 1 PM
 
Orland Park
Orland Park Civic Center
14750 S. Ravinia Avenue
9 AM-2 PM
 
Rock Island
VFW Post 1303
3715 9th Street
9 AM-1 PM

 
“Our Veterans rightfully deserve to have the very opportunities they risked their lives for - and that includes having a job so they can provide for their families,” said Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Tammy Duckworth.  “When you hire a veteran, you are hiring a determined and dedicated individual who knows how to succeed in the mission they are given.”
 
In 2005, Governor Blagojevich created the Statewide Veterans Job Fair to recognize the value that veterans bring to the Illinois workforce and to honor Veterans Day. With each passing year, success and attendance has grown; this year the state is proud to offer job fairs at three more sites than last year.
 
Illinois offers a variety of programs to help retrain displaced workers as well as identify and build new skills for those re-entering the workforce. Veteran benefits-related agencies and support organizations also will be available at the job fairs. IDES, in coordination with federal and community partners, also provides regional- and seasonal-specific training to assist workers of all types at more than 60 offices across the state.
 
“I am proud of our Statewide Veterans Job Fair, which emphasizes the value that our military veterans bring to the workforce while highlighting job-creation efforts to help small businesses across the state. I thank the Governor for his commitment to putting Illinoisans to work, especially in these tough economic times,” IDES Director Maureen O’Donnell said.
 
Governor Blagojevich is also reminding employers this month about the Veteran’s Tax Credit.  Illinois employers can earn tax credits for the veterans they have hired since January 1, 2007 who have recently been on active duty overseas.  Employers can earn the Veteran’s Tax Credit of 5 percent of total wages paid, up to a maximum of $600 annually, for wages paid to each veteran hired after January 1, 2007. The credit is available for veterans who were members of the Armed Forces, the Armed Force reserves, or the Illinois National Guard on active duty in Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom, or Operation Iraqi Freedom.
 
For more information about the Veteran’s Tax Credit, go to the Department of Revenue’s website, www.tax.illinois.gov or call the Department of Revenue’s toll-free assistance line at 1-800-732-8866.  For more information on the Veterans Job Fairs visit www.ides.state.il.us/info/event/default.asp.  For more information on Illinois Veteran programs and initiatives visit the IDVA website at www.veterans.illinois.gov or call 1-800-437-9824. 


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