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Chicago Career Fairs Help Veterans

Posted on November 17, 2008

Just like most of America, many veterans are struggling to find a job during the current economic slowdown. A series of Chicago career fairs recently helped many veterans with this dilemma.

Governor Rod R. Blagojevich has announced that November is “Hire a Veteran Month.” As part of this, the Illinois Department of Employment Security recently hosted a series of job fairs throughout the state to help veterans find work. According to a press release, the state also is reminding employers of a new state income tax credit of up to $600 for every qualified veteran they hire.

Illinois employers can earn tax credits for the veterans they have hired since January 1, 2007 who have recently been on active duty overseas,” the press release notes. “Employers can earn the 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 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 release adds.

According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterans who have recently returned from service often have a difficult time finding work. Overall, young male veterans, those 18 to 24-years old, who have served since September 2001 had an unemployment rate of 11.2 percent during 2007.

“Illinois’ veterans have served their country with honor,” Blagojevich said in the release. “Now unfortunately in this poor national economy, many veterans throughout the country are struggling to find work. But I am pleased to announce that today we can help these brave soldiers find employment through Illinois’ Statewide Veterans Job Fair.”

The statewide job fairs were created in 2005 to help recognize the value that veterans bring to the Illinois workforce and to honor Veterans Day. Each year so far, success and attendance at the job fairs has increased, and the state hosted job fairs at three more sites this year.

“Our Veterans rightfully deserve to have the very opportunities they risked their lives for – and that includes having a job so they can provide for their families,” Tammy Duckworth, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs director, said in the release. “When you hire a veteran, you are hiring a determined and dedicated individual who knows how to succeed in the mission they are given.”