Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs                    February 2013

Gov. Quinn Signs Executive Order: Will Streamline Vets Military Training for Select State Licenses

For veterans returning to the civilian workforce, there is nothing more frustrating than discovering that their military training and expertise does not count for certification, licensing, or helping them land the jobs they've already been doing - and doing well. That will be changing in the years to come, thanks to Executive Order 13-02 signed into law on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013 by Gov. Pat Quinn.


"With this Executive Order, Governor Quinn is mobilizing his executive agencies to work collaboratively and urgently toward making military training count in Illinois," said Erica Borggren, Director, IDVA.  "We need to make this happen so we can better support those who have given so much in the service of our country."


The Order establishes a process and timeline for the State's licensing agencies to assess military training against requirements for relevant state license requirements.  The IDVA, under the leadership of Director Borggren, will spearhead the process which will involve the Illinois Department of Military Affairs (DMA), the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), and State agencies that issue occupational or professional licenses. 


The EO directs these participating agencies to collaborate in identifying military career fields with relevant state licenses, prioritizing the list, obtaining military training documentation, and assessing military training against state educational or licensing standards. The EO also mandates timelines within which this work will occur, as well as requires that resulting "gap" assessments be made public so that Illinois educational institutions can build "bridge" courses to assist Illinois veterans in obtaining licensure.     


Look for more information and updates on this process as it develops and information becomes available.  

Hiring Our Heroes Career Fair 
Great Opportunity for Vets Seeking New Opportunities


The state's largest veteran hiring fair is back!  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA), and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) are working together to host the Hiring Our Heroes Career Fair, a historic joint effort on the part of employers, nonprofits and civic organizations to create job opportunities for U.S. military veterans and their spouses through personalized engagement with corporate partners. 


This event - which utilizes the innovative "smart fair" model featuring candidate pre-screening, applicant-employer matching, and onsite interviews - will connect over 1,000 veteran job-seekers with registered employers.  Veterans will have a chance to showcase the skills, integrity and discipline that differentiate them from the average job-seeker - and employers will have a one-of-a-kind opportunity to review, recruit and hire America's future business leaders. 


When & Where: 

March 21, 2013             9:00 AM to 12:00 PM 


Palmer House Hilton

17 East Monroe Street, Chicago


Premier employers registered so far include AT&T, JPMorgan Chase, United Airlines, Pitney Bowes, Inc., and ITS Technologies and Logistics, LLC.


Advanced registration is strongly suggested for Veterans and required for non-profit partners and businesses.  Please visit the Hiring Ours Heroes webpage for details and registration.  



Country Club Hills Man to be 
Named Veteran Of The Month
The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs (IDVA) will honor Country Club Hills resident M. Michael Williams, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, as Illinois Veteran of the Month for February 2013 on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 9 a.m. in the Office of the Mayor, Country Club Hills, 4200 West Main Street, Country Club Hills, Illinois.


Morris, a Vietnam veteran, continued to serve and support his community and fellow veterans after leaving active duty.  For more information on Williams' military service and veteran support, please see IDVA's press 

release which will be published in conjunction with the ceremony.


The Illinois Veteran of the Month program honors the work of select veterans whose contributions in service to the veteran community and their local communities are truly above and beyond.  To nominate a great veteran for the honor please visit IDVA's website at


Webinar for Disabled Veterans
Illinois State Employment Opportunities Additional Session Offered!  


Due to the high volume of reservations for a free webinar about the Illinois Department of Central Management Services' Successful Disability Opportunities (SD) Program, which certifies people with disabilities for state employment, an additional session will be offered on February 27, 2013, from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m.  This webinar is a great chance for disabled veterans to ask questions and handouts will be provided for future reference.


Anyone interested in attending should email  who will provide instructions for signing into the program.  The webinar is sponsored by the Department of Central Management Services' Disability Hiring Initiative Committee (DHIC) and the Department of Employment Security.  The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs is a member of DHIC.


Desert Storm Remembrance Ceremony
Please join IDVA Director Erica Borggren at the Illinois Military History Museum on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 to honor and remember those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm 22 years ago. The ceremony, which will begin at 11:00 a.m., will honor and celebrate the accomplishments of American and Coalition forces that liberated Kuwait.  The event is free and open to the public, with parking available.  Guests are welcome to tour the museum, which depicts the rich history of the Illinois National Guard, before or after the ceremony. 

For Bill Palmer, a resident at the Anna Veterans Home, January 29, 2013 was not just another day.  For Mr. Palmer and 57 other veterans residing at IVH-Anna, the evening's sudden tornado warning was a genuine cause for concern.  Despite the alarm, the Home staff responded with speed, competence, and professionalism.  That response did not go unnoticed, and Mr. Palmer took out the following ad shortly afterward in the Anna Gazette Democrat:  




We agree, Mr. Palmer.  Our thanks to those great staff members at the Anna Veterans Home for carrying out our most important mission: taking care of our Veterans.   


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