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November 2, 2006

Governor Blagojevich announces the nation’s first statewide Veterans Job Fair, encourages Illinois veterans and employers to participate
Veterans Job and Benefits Fair to be held by the state on Nov. 9

CHICAGO--In recognition of Veterans Day and building on his commitment to help the state’s veterans get the benefits they have bravely earned, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today the state will host the country’s first-ever Statewide Job Fair for Veterans on Thursday, November 9. Administered through the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), the fair brings together employers, veterans’ benefits-related agencies, and veterans’ service organizations to reach veterans at seven locations simultaneously throughout Illinois.

"Our veterans bravely put their lives on the line to protect our freedom. We should do everything we can when they return home to ensure they can work, stay healthy and get the benefits they were promised when they agreed to serve their country. Job fairs are an excellent way to connect veterans with jobs. We’ve been able help hundreds of Illinois veterans find jobs through job fairs over the last three years, and we’re looking forward to helping hundreds more through the nation’s first wide-scale, statewide veterans job fair," said Gov. Blagojevich.

The seven simultaneous Veterans Job Fairs begin at 9 a.m. in the following locations:

Metro South Chicago

National Guard Armory (9am – 2pm)
8669 West Cermak Rd.
North Riverside, IL 60546

Contact: Sylvia Stone (312) 848-9591


Metro South Chicago

South Suburban Community College

(9am – 1pm)
15800 S. State St.
South Holland, IL 60473

Contact: Gregory Haynes (708) 955-5323




Marion VFW Post 1301 (9am – 3pm)
IL Route 37 North
Marion, IL 62959

Contact: Edna Jeffries (618) 214-0002


Camp Lincoln (9am – 1pm)
1301 N. MacArthur Blvd.
Springfield, IL 62702

Contact: Less Boucher (217) 782-3846



National Guard Armory (9am – 3pm)
1301 Sunset Ridge Drive
Woodstock, IL 60098

Contact: Susie Geltner (312) 520-4263


Festival Building (9am – 3pm)
2200 E. Washington St.
East Peoria, IL 61611

Contact: Sue Colloton (312) 264-8800

Chicago Metro

Richard J. Daley College (9am – 2pm)
7500 S. Pulaski Rd.
Chicago, IL 60652

Contact: Luis Gonzalez (312) 636-2461

"Gov. Blagojevich and I have been strongly committed to helping the men and women who serve in our nation’s Armed Forces find jobs," said IDES Director Brenda A. Russell. "The Governor has been clear in his goal to create a comprehensive career services program with dedicated staff and resources to ensure that veterans get the services they need and deserve. With this event, we aim to bring awareness across the Illinois about veterans employment opportunities in the state as well as what employers can do for veterans, deployed service members or those returning from active duty."

Across Illinois, IDES helps veterans find jobs, transition back into the civilian work force, and provides employers and veterans’ service organizations resources to enhance the employment of veterans. IDES resources include job search workshops, individual career counseling sessions, veterans jobs fairs, outreach programs to incarcerated and homeless veterans, employer visits for job development opportunities, and Illinois Skills Match, an Internet-based job match service, that matches veterans first to job openings that match their individual capabilities. Since 2003, the number of employers working with IDES and using Illinois Skills Match has doubled. There are currently more than 16,000 employers working with the state.

Each IDES office in the state has a staff of Veterans Representatives dedicated to helping individuals find employment. Each Veteran Representative offers one-on-one job counseling with specific focus on translating skills to conform to non-military work. Rounding out the services, the Veterans Representatives regularly recruit companies and organizations on behalf of individual vets in an effort to encourage more employers to recruit IDES clients.

Officials from the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) also will be available at the Statewide Job Fair to answer questions about Governor Rod R. Blagojevich’s landmark health insurance program for veterans. Veterans will also be able to apply for Veterans Care on-site.

More information can be found by visiting the Veterans Care website at www.illinoisveteranscare.com or by calling 1-877-4VETSRX.

Under the first phase of Veterans Care, veterans who don’t have health insurance would be covered. Participants who take part in the pilot program would be charged a $40 monthly premium. Prescription drugs and doctors office visits would require a very minimal co-payment, ranging from $6 to $15.

Those veterans who plan to sign up for Veterans Care are encouraged to bring a copy of their military discharge papers (DD-214), photo I.D. and proof of income for the past 30 days (and that of his/her spouse if applicable).

"The state of Illinois is out in the forefront when it comes to helping its veterans get jobs after they return from active duty. This administration has been committed to this task since the beginning," Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Roy L. Dolgos said.

Job fair participants do not need to register in advance. Employers who would like to obtain a space at the job fairs should contact Lane Knox, Veterans Program Coordinator at 312/793.8961 or via e-mail at Lane.Knox@Illinois.Gov. For more information on the statewide veterans job fair: http://www.ides.state.il.us/info/event/default.asp


Links to Veterans’ Career Service Programming from the State of Illinois

Veterans Employment in Illinois


Serving those who have served with a variety of resources


Illinois and CareerBuilder.com's Operation Hero for Hire job listings


Veterans Outreach Program for jobs with Illinois state government


Illinois Department of Employment Security links for Veterans


Job fairs and special events, many for Veterans


Illinois Employment and Training Centers (one-stop career centers) with

assistance for Veterans


Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs


The President's National Hire Veterans Committee


Illinois Department of Employment Security

33 South State Street, Chicago, IL 60603

(312) 793-5700 | TDD/TTY (312) 793-9350


Illinois Skills Match



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