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November 4, 2010

Statewide Veteran Job Fairs Launch this Week
Month-Long Effort to Promote Hiring, Tax Incentives

CHICAGO - Illinois will host job fairs across the state to help put Veterans back to work and tell employers about tax credits that encourage business development to grow the state’s economy.

“Helping businesses create jobs and finding the right person for those new jobs is important as Illinois’ economy continues to steadily improve,” IDES Director Maureen O’Donnell said. “Our Veterans have the training, commitment and loyalty that make them excellent hires and we, as citizens, have a duty to honor their sacrifices and the sacrifices of their families and help them find good-paying jobs.”

Illinois has added 50,700 jobs so far this year. Illinois also has recorded steady or declining unemployment rates for nine consecutive months despite a national recession that caused rising unemployment rates from 2007 through 2009. In September, the most recent figure available, Illinois’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell again to reach 9.9 percent. The last time it had been below 10 percent was in May 2009 when it was 10 percent and rising.

Veterans make loyal employees because they respect authority, embrace responsibility and thrive in a team environment. They emphasize group goals over individual accolades. They understand technology, have the ability to learn, and already have experience in such fields as manufacturing, construction and logistics. November is Hire a Veteran Month. Veterans Day is Nov. 11.

Statewide Veteran Job Fairs are being held across the country. In Illinois, the Illinois Department of Employment Security is coordinating the effort. The job fairs emphasize services and opportunities of particular importance to Veterans and feature businesses that would particularly benefit from the vocational and leadership training Veterans receive as part of their military experience. Individuals without military experience and others businesses also are encouraged to participate. Illinois created the Statewide Veteran Job Fair in 2005 to recognize the value that Veterans bring to the Illinois workforce and to honor Veterans Day. Success and attendance has grown each year.

A state income tax credit of up to $1,200 is available to businesses for each qualified Veteran who is hired. Additionally, employers might qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $4,800 through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. Earlier this year, Gov. Quinn announced the Illinois Small Business Job Creation Tax Credit, which could mean an additional $2,500 for each new hire.

Even as Illinois’ economy improves, Veterans who have recently returned from service often have a difficult time finding employment. The Bureau of Labor statistics reports that in 2009, the national unemployment rate for those who have served in the military since September 2001 was 10.2 percent. This group is referred to as the Gulf War-era II Veterans. The jobless rate for all Veterans of all eras was 8.1 percent. Young male Veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 had a jobless rate of 21.6 percent. In 2009, more than 22 million men and women identified themselves as a Veteran.

Statewide Veteran Job Fairs 

Thursday, Nov. 4
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Paris American Legion Home Post 211
1031 North Main Street, Paris
Business contact: Bill Reed (217) 235-2222

9 a.m.-1 p.m.
McHenry VFW Post 4600
3002 Route 120, McHenry
Business contact: Jack Borders (312) 793-2620

Tuesday Nov. 9
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Bloomington National Guard Armory
1616 S. Main St., Bloomington
Business Contact: Alison Williams (217) 558-1262

9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Effingham VFW Post 1769
2304 Veteran’s Drive, Effingham
Business contact: Bill Reed (217) 235-2222

Wednesday, Nov. 10
9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Southwestern Illinois College
2500 Carlyle Ave., Belleville
Business contact: John Otey (618) 242-6121

Wednesday, Nov. 10
9 a.m.-Noon
Roland Lewis Community Building
800 S. 27th Street, Mt. Vernon
Business contact:
Catherine Matyas (618) 244-1700

Thursday, Nov. 11. Veterans Day
9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Daley College, Main Auditorium
7500 S. Pulaski, Chicago
Business contact: Luis Gonzalez (312) 814-3463

Friday, Nov. 12
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Lawrenceville VFW Post 2244
511 12th Street, Lawrenceville
Business contact: Bill Reed (217) 235-2222

9 a.m.-1 p.m.
VFW Post 1303
3715 Ninth St., Rock Island
Business contact: Sue Colloton (309) 671-3157

Saturday, Nov. 13
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
River Oaks Community Church
16931 South Park Ave., South Holland
Business contact:
Gregory Shephard (708) 596-8051


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