SPRINGFIELD – November 10, 2011. In honor of Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11) Governor Quinn today announced a successful month of job fairs aimed at putting Illinois Veterans back to work. Hosted by the Governor’s Office and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), the fairs are a special statewide effort to help Veterans find employment and inform employers about tax credits that encourage business development. More than 500 Illinois employers have participated in this special series of job fairs.
Today’s Veterans’ job fair in Orland Park is the latest in the series of events that highlight Governor Pat Quinn’s effort to grow jobs and connect qualified job seekers with ready-to-hire employers. IDES director Jay Rowell and Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) director Erica J. Borggren will attend today’s fair to support the hiring effort.
“Veterans have served their state and their country, and Illinois makes a special effort to ensure that those returning home from service are able to transition into the job market,” Governor Quinn said. “November is Hire a Veteran Month, and we want to help our servicemembers to put their valuable skills to use here at home for Illinois employers.”
The Orland Park job fair will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Orland Park Civic Center, 14750 Ravinia Avenue. This is the ninth Veterans’ job fair so far this year, with other events held across the state in Chicago, Naperville, Bloomington, Belleville, Mt. Vernon, Carterville, Bartonville and Effingham.
“The men and women of our Veteran community are true national heroes,” IDVA director Borggren said. “Veterans are proven and committed public servants, and all of Illinois stands to benefit from an empowered Veteran community.”
A state income tax credit of up to $1,200 is available to businesses for each qualified Veteran who is hired. Additionally, employers may qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $4,800 through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
Veterans are sought-after employees for their service training, which includes respect for authority, embracing responsibility and success operating in team-based environments. Servicemembers also often have advanced training in technology, manufacturing, construction and logistics.
Success and attendance has grown each year at the statewide Veteran job fairs, which were started in order to recognize the value that Veterans bring to the Illinois workforce. Invited businesses include those whose positions demand the skills military Veterans hone in the service. All Illinois job fairs are open to everyone, and individuals attending should bring resumes and be prepared for brief interviews.
“IDES is Illinois’ employment agency, and our job is to put people to work,” said IDES Director Jay Rowell said. As we approach Veterans Day, it is wholly appropriate to emphasize the skills of these brave men and women and to show how these skills will help employers succeed.”
Illinois has added 37,700 jobs so far this year and 81,000 jobs since January 2010 when job growth returned to Illinois after 23 consecutive months of declines. January 2010 also marked the plateau of the unemployment rate after 33 consecutive month-over-month increases. Since, the monthly unemployment rate has declined 15 times and increased four when compared to the previous month.