Gov. Quinn Signs Legislation To Help Veterans Get Jobs
By Sean Powers, with additional reporting from The Associated Press
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Thursday to help drive up the labor force among veterans and service members.
One plan allows people with at least two years of experience operating a military vehicle to bypass the state skills test when applying for a commercial driver's license.
Another measure eliminates the college degree requirement for veterans who want to become Illinois State Police officers.
Erica Borggren heads the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs. She said people who have served oversees are often more than qualified to take on demanding jobs because of their experiences.
“They require them to not just be warriors, but also diplomats and government advisors and development experts, everything across the board; the ability to decide in a second between as they say a hand grenade and a handshake," Borggren said. "That is experience. That is training that you really can’t replace, and we absolutely want to channel it back into our companies and empower our veterans to thrive.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate among veterans 18-to-24 years old is more than twice that of any other age group.
The department also said the unemployment rate last year for all veterans fell to 7 percent, which was about a 1 percent drop.