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August 3, 2011

Staff Honored for Helping Veterans Find Employment

CHICAGO – The Illinois American Legion has honored two associates at the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) for their efforts to help unemployed military Veterans return to work.

Michael Ruffner, who works in the Woodstock office in McHenry County, and Tim Scarbrough, who works in the Murphysboro office in Jackson County, were honored. Each received an Employment Service Award. The honor recognizes individuals who excel in providing job counseling, testing and placement assistance to unemployed and underemployed Veterans.

“Our society owes a special debt to our Veterans. One way the Department of Employment Security attempts to repay that debt is to have Veterans helping Veterans,” IDES Director Jay Rowell said. “All of our Veterans Representatives do an outstanding job, and it is particularly gratifying to see their selfless dedication and hard work honored by others.”

Ruffner, 54, served his country as a United States Marine from 1975-1996. His service included Gunnery Sergeant, Infantry Unit Leader and Company Gunnery Sergeant. He has been helping Veterans as an IDES associate for two years.

Scarbrough, 43, served his country as a member of the United States Army from 2000-2007.Previously, he served in Army Reserve and National Guard from 1986-2000. He enlisted as an E-1 Private-Combat Engineer and left as an 0 3 Senior Captain of Engineers. Scarbrough has been helping Veterans as an IDES associate for one year.

Veterans are often sought-after and reliable employees because they respect authority, embrace responsibility and thrive in a team environment. They emphasize group goals over individual accolades. They understand technology and already have experience in such fields as manufacturing and logistics.

Ruffner said, “I hope this award shows my fellow Veterans that there is support and energy available to them to assist their efforts to find meaningful employment and be a part of our community.”

Scarbrough said, “I can only say thank-you and that I will continue to serve the Veteran community and look out for their needs.”

The awards were presented at the annual Illinois American Legion statewide conference in July.

The IDES supports economic stability by administering unemployment benefits, collecting business contributions to fund those benefits, connecting employers with qualified job seekers, and providing economic information to assist career planning and economic development. It does so through nearly 60 offices, including Illinois workNet centers.


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