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November 1, 2007

Gov. Blagojevich encourages employers to hire Veterans during "Hire a Vet" month in Illinois
Announces job fairs for Veterans throughout the state and reminds employers about $600 tax credit for each Veteran hired

CHICAGO– Building on his commitment to help the state’s Veterans get the opportunities they have bravely earned, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today encouraged employers to hire the state’s military heroes during “Hire a Vet Month” in Illinois.  The state will host several job fairs for Veterans this month and the Governor reminded employers of the new state income tax credit available of up to $600 for every qualified Veteran they hire. 
“We are doing everything we can in Illinois to help make sure that when our service members come home, they have access to quality jobs and receive the benefits they’ve rightfully earned.  I want to encourage businesses to hire our Veterans and not only benefit from the quality of the employee they receive, but also the money they will save on taxes,” said Gov. Blagojevich.
During “Hire a Vet Month” 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 begins at 9 a.m. on either November 8th or 9th at the following locations: 
Central Region
November 8, 2007 (9:00 AM to 1:00 PM)
Richland Community College
One College Park
Decatur, IL 62521-8512
November 8, 2007 (9:00 AM to 1:00 PM)
Illinois Employment and Training Center (IETC)
407 N. Franklin Street
Danville, IL 61832
November 8, 2007 (9:00 AM to 1:00 PM)
Illinois Veterans Home
Lippencott Hall
1701 North 12th
Quincy, IL 62301
November 8, 2007 (9:00 AM to 1:00 PM)
Camp Lincoln National Guard Armory
1301 N. MacArthur Blvd.
Springfield, IL 62702
Chicago Metro Region
November 9, 2007 (9:00 AM – 2:00 PM)
Richard J. Daley College
7500 S. Pulaski
Chicago, IL 60652
Metro South Chicago Region
November 9, 2007 (9:00 AM – 2:00 PM)
Joliet National Guard Armory
2900 Jefferson Street
Joliet, IL 60435-5287
Northern Region
November 8, 2007 (9:00 AM to 1:00 PM)
AMVETS Post 66
700 McHenry Road
Wheeling, IL 60090
Northwest Region
November 8, 2007 (9:00 AM to 2:00 PM)
American Legion Post 979
4501 Airport Rd.
Bartonville, IL 61607-2196
Southern Region
November 8, 2007 (9:00 AM – 2:00 PM)
American Legion Post 365
1022 Vandalia Street (Route 159)
Collinsville, IL 62234
November 9, 2007 (9:00 AM – 1:00 PM)
Marion VFW Post 1301
201 East Longstreet
Marion, IL 62959
In addition to these events, IDES is also conducting a Virtual Veterans Job Fair that will be in the central Illinois cities of Quincy, Springfield, Decatur, Champaign, and Danville on November 8. 2007.  Employers will be participating in a broadcast to the IDES Employment Offices above to veteran job seekers, except for Springfield and Decatur locations. They can be viewed at Camp Lincoln - Springfield and Richland Community College - Decatur. The recorded broadcasts are to be archived along with responses to job seeker’s questions at www.illinoisworknet.com/vetconnect . The archived files will be released later in November by Illinois workNet.
“During ‘Hire a Vet’ month and each month after, I want to urge all employers to hire our Veterans, and in turn, receive qualified and dedicated employees,” said IDVA Director L. Tammy Duckworth.  “It isn’t every job where the description includes putting your life on the line but that is what so many of our Veterans have done.  They have served this country bravely and honorably.  When they return home we owe it to them to provide the best options, benefits and programs possible, and that includes having access to quality jobs.”
IDES provides access to an array of employment programs and services to support both job seekers and businesses.  IDES has a staff of trained Veterans Representatives and disabled Veterans Outreach Representatives dedicated to helping Veterans find employment.  
“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 James P. Sledge.  “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 these events, we hope to bring awareness across 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.”
Gov. Blagojevich is also reminding employers this month about the new Veteran’s Tax Credit.  Beginning in tax year 2007, Illinois employers can earn tax credits for hiring Veterans who have recently been on active duty overseas.  Employers can earn the new 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 Veteran must work at least 185 days during the tax year for the employer to qualify.  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.  The Veteran’s Tax Credit can be claimed by employers on 2007 tax returns filed in 2008.
“As the new tax season quickly approaches, it is important that employers know of the availability of this credit.  Those companies who have hired Veterans this year can earn a credit of up to $600 for each new Veteran hire annually,” said Brian Hamer, the Director of Illinois Department of Revenue.
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.state.il.us/agency/dva or call 1-800-437-9824. 


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