May 2012 - In This Issue
National VA Job Fair & Small Business Expo
Veterans: Map Your Future Through U-MAP
Free Online Course For Health Providers
College of DuPage Wins Governor's Award
Portrait of a Soldier Touring Illinois Tollway Oases

National VA Job Fair & Small Business Expo

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is sponsoring two free national veteran events in Detroit during the last week of June. These are worth traveling for!  


National Veteran Hiring Fair (June 26-28)

The Veterans Hiring Fair is unique from other hiring events. Managed directly by the federal VA, veterans will have access to thousands of federal job positions including more than 8,000 confirmed job openings. Attendees will also receive assistance in resume building and career coaching. The last VA hiring event resulted in 2,600 interviews and more than 500 on-the-spot job offers for veterans. Advance registration is recommended via the VA for Vets event page.


National Veteran Small Business Conference (June 26-29)

At the National Veterans Small Business Conference, veteran business owners can learn how to do business with the federal and state governments (including Illinois!), meet with procurement decision-makers, and expand knowledge through more than 200 available training and business requirement sessions. Register now at National Veteran Small Business Conference. Also, if you are a veteran looking to start a business, you can apply for a scholarship to attend a two-day self-employment training workshop from June 25-26, just prior to this Small Business Conference.

Veterans: Map Your Future Through U-MAP

Interested in an opportunity to work for a major utility in the Chicago area with a competitive pay and benefits package? If so, then the Utility Workers Military Assistance Program (U-MAP) is for you!


Participants can earn college credit, tuition assistance, receive paid internships, and receive job placement assistance include resume building and interview skills training


This program is in collaboration with Utility Workers Military Assistance Program, Power 4 America, the State of Illinois (IDES, IDVA, DCEO) and Peoples Gas. It is supported by the Teamsters Military Assistance Program. For more information, please visit the U-MAP website


Free Online Course Offered For Health Providers

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has accredited a series of free online courses for primary care physicians, case workers, mental health providers, and other health care professionals who may see a veteran or their family members.


Army OneSource has launched a formal campaign, supported by the U.S. Army, to encourage civilian health and Behavioral Health providers to complete courses in the series titled, "Treating the Invisible Wounds of War (TTIWW)." Feel free to download a full list of courses and registration instructions.


In addition to better supporting service members, those who complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion suitable for framing, will be eligible for FREE Continuing Education Unit (CEU), and will receive a poster to display in their offices inviting Service Members and their Families to talk to a health professional about any troubling symptoms.

College of DuPage Honored with Governor's Award

Going above and beyond basic veterans' services while fostering a veteran-friendly atmosphere, the College of DuPage (COD) has been chosen as the inaugural winner of the Governor's Award for Excellence in Education, the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) announced today.


"The college leadership has prioritized supporting veterans at our school, and clearly communicated how seriously they take that responsibility," said COD's Student Veterans Association in its nomination letter.


Among many outstanding attributes, COD was recognized for its:

  • Academic offerings, including courses taught by veterans and incorporating military and veteran-specific topics. This includes a Veterans Counseling Certificate--a first for Illinois--that offers specialized training for individuals working with veterans;
  • Dedicated faculty and staff who demonstrate their appreciation for the school's veteran community through projects and initiatives, such as the annual U.S. Marine Corps "Toys for Tots" campaign on campus; and,
  • Office of Veterans Services that provides a "one-stop shop" for veterans, military personnel and their families. Resources include a full-time Coordinator for Veterans Services, a Veterans Lounge, and a veteran-student work study program.  

IDVA will present the award during a June 11th ceremony with COD officials at the Glen Ellyn-based junior college.


Governor's Award nominations are now being accepted for the fall semester. Illinois colleges or universities that contribute to the betterment of student veterans and their families are eligible. The nominated school must be a licensed, degree-granting school in the state of Illinois. For more information, including nomination materials, please visit the Governor's Award homepage on IDVA's website.

Portrait of a Soldier Exhibit Touring Tollway Oases

Portrait of Rockford's PO1 Cherie Morton
U.S. Navy
DOD 4/20/2008

To commemorate Memorial Day, Governor Pat Quinn and IDVA Director Erica Borggren joined officials from the Illinois Tollway to unveil the state's "Portrait of a Soldier" memorial exhibit at the Hinsdale Oasis along the Tri-State Tollway (I-294).


The exhibit features a series of hand-drawn portraits of 288 of the more than 300 Illinois men and women who have fallen in service to our country since September 11, 2001.


"With 'Portrait of a Soldier,' we pay a special tribute to our state's brave service members who gave their lives to protect our freedom," said Governor Quinn. "From Memorial Day to Independence Day, visitors to Illinois Tollway oases will have the opportunity to view the faces and read the names of our state's true heroes who remain in our hearts every day."


Exhibit Schedule

  • Hinsdale Oasis, Tri-State Tollway (I-294)--Now thru 6/3
  • Lincoln Oasis, Tri-State Tollway (I-294/80) (South Holland)--6/4 thru 6/10
  • Des Plaines Oasis, Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90)--6/11 thru 6/17
  • DeKalb Oasis, Reagan Memorial Tollway (I-88)--6/18 thru 6/24
  • Belvidere Oasis, Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90)--6/2 thru 7/1
  • Lake Forest Oasis, Tri-State Tollway (I-94)--7/2 thru 7/8

NOTE: Beginning June 4 -- the exhibit will open at noon on Mondays at each oasis, and for the rest of the week during the dates listed above, will remain open 24/7.


Governor Quinn founded the "Portrait of a Soldier" memorial exhibit to honor fallen service members in 2004, when artist Cameron Schilling of Mattoon drew the first portrait of Army Spc. Charles Neeley, also of Mattoon, after he was killed in Iraq. In October 2005, while a student at Eastern Illinois University, Schilling committed to drawing a portrait of every Illinois servicemember who has fallen during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.


For more information on the "Portrait of a Soldier" exhibit or to view the portraits online, please visit

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