Written by Douglas Edwin
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 00:00
This week Governor Quinn and the state of Illinois have announced two new programs aimed at increasing veteran employment.
Illinois was recently selected to become one of six states to implement a new program that will assist those leaving military service attain certification for various in-demand civilian careers.
The National Governors Association, which Governor Quinn is a member of, formed The Veterans Licensing and Certification Demonstration Policy Academy to help set up a “Veteran Bridge Program” which will work to help bridge the gap from active duty service, to civilian careers.
The program will focus on helping military medics earn Licensed Practical Nurse and Emergency Medical Technician licenses, as well as helping military police join civilian police forces.
“The thousands of heroic men and women who are returning to civilian life have admirably served our nation, and now it’s our turn to serve them,” said Governor Quinn, announcing the program. “Through our participation in the Policy Academy we will help them to make a smoother transition into full, meaningful employment and to take advantage of all the military training they’ve received.”
The program will work to streamline the licensing process for veterans, as well as look for ways to reduce the costs that are associated with attaining the necessary credentials. By helping veterans receive credentials in a quicker time, the state hopes to reduce the number of unemployment insurance claims.
Governor Quinn also announced that Illinois will be the first state in the nation to join GE’s new “Get Skills to Work” program.
The program is a collaboration between the state of Illinois, manufacturers, and community colleges that will work to locate employers who want to hire veterans and provide the necessary training for the jobs.
“I am thrilled that Illinois is the first state in the nation to join the Get Skills to Work coalition,” said Governor Quinn. “This program will help our state’s returning service members get the skills they need to get back into the workforce. This statewide partnership includes our community colleges and the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association to ensure nobody is left out when it comes to employing our hometown heroes.”
The coalition, working with the Illinois Department of Veteran Affairs (IDVA) and Employment Security (IDES), will focus on providing both certification and training in advanced manufacturing to veterans. They will also be working with local community colleges and employers who will commit to hiring them.
“Our returning veterans can offer great skills and capabilities to employers across Illinois,” said Erica Borggren, Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director. “Thanks to Governor Quinn’s leadership, the example set by GE and others, and the work of groups such as the Gary Sinise Foundation, our men and women in uniform will be coming home to increased opportunities to do just that.”
These are not the first programs put in place by Governor Quinn and the state of Illinois to increase veteran employment.
In 2012 Governor Quinn signed into law the Hiring Veterans Tax Credit, which provides a significant additional tax credit to businesses that hire unemployed veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.
In addition, in 2013 a bill was signed that allows veterans who have at least two years of experience operating a military motor vehicle to bypass the state skills test to apply for a Commercial Drivers License.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 14:02