Illinois Jobs bill aims to get Vets back to work - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Illinois Jobs bill aims to get Vets back to work

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The numbers aren't pretty for the men and women who serve our country and come home looking for work.

A bill signed today by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn increases a tax credit for employers hiring vets and aims to turn that trend around.

"I think it's difficult not just for veterans but for a lot of people to find a job."

Lt. Justin Conley has been in the National Guard since high school and has served in Germany and Afghanistan. He's seen first hand how difficult it can be for veterans trying to find work.

"The current statistic is just over 30% of returning veterans 18 to 24 are unemployed compared to their civilian counterparts at just over 16% I think part of the difficulty is you're not just competing with that other 16 or 30 percent but you're also competing with people who are underemployed."

The new bill will increase the tax credit for employers from 10% to 20%. Which lawmakers hope will add incentive to hiring the state's unemployed military veterans.

Workplace is a staffing agency in Rockford, everyday they see a handful of veterans looking to find work. According to business staffing developer Michael King. Vets have a hard time transferring skills back into the civilian world.

"Their hard skills are very hard to transfer over unless they're going to get into police or security or something like that. There are veterans that work in other areas that have a little bit easier transferable skills."

There is hope, employers will tell you members of America's military have skills you won't find on the street.

"Their promptness their communication their ability to work under pressure all of these are things employers seek out and are valuable," said King.

Another part of the bill offers a property tax break for spouse's of fallen warriors.

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