SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) is pushing legislation that addresses the growing problem of unemployment rates among young returning veterans.
House Bill 4586 creates the Illinois Veteran Conservation Corps to provide veterans with work opportunities for projects designated by the Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to enhance public lands owned or leased by the Department or developing and enhancing projects or initiatives undertaken in whole or in part by IDNR.
“They sacrificed for us and our families,” Senator Haine said. “It’s only right that we give everything back we can to our veterans. A good-paying job will give them a solid foundation and provide them with a good start to getting adjusted to civilian life.”
Enrollment for the Illinois Young Adult Conservation Corps will be limited to unemployed Illinois veterans who are 18 to 25 years of age.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for 18- to 24-year-old veterans who have served since September 11 was 30.2 percent in 2011, compared to 25- to 34-year-old veterans from that era where it was 13 percent.
The measure also creates the Illinois Veteran Recreation Corps to make grants to local sponsors and to provide wages to veterans of any age operating and instructing in conservation or recreational programs.