Army Reserve, Guard Launch Partnership with State Employers

American Forces Press Service

CHICAGO, Aug. 6, 2009 - The Army Reserve and National Guard signed partnership agreements with dozens of Chicago and Illinois state employers yesterday to enhance job opportunities for soldiers and veterans.

"It is our duty to take care of veterans, who have answered the call to duty and bravely defended our country," said Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. "I salute Helmets to Hardhats and all the partners here today. We join together in signing this memo of understanding so that we can help provide our servicemembers and veterans the jobs they deserve."

The alliances, launched as part of the Army Reserve Employer Partnership Initiative, will help strengthen the community and support Reserve and National Guard members and their families, officials said.

"I'm pleased to begin lasting partnerships with the state of Illinois and so many of the Chicago area's leading employers," said Army Reserve Chief Lt. Gen. Jack C. Stultz. "I look forward to collaborating with our newest valued partners to achieve mutual goals to attract, develop and retain a quality work force. "This is a natural partnership, because today's partners have always been great friends of the military."

Among the partners who joined the initiative are the state of Illinois, city of Chicago, Chicago 2016, Cook County, Teamsters Joint Council 25, the Chicago and Cook County Building Trades Council, Chicago Federation of Labor and Service Employees International Union.

"The Teamsters are committed to ensuring veteran soldiers forever play a role in strengthening our economy and contributing to the future of our communities," said John T. Coli, president of Teamsters Joint Council 25. "Joint Council 25 is honored to bring the Army Reserve and National Guard together with so many of Illinois' esteemed employers in support of our soldiers and their families."

The Army Reserve is teaming with business leaders and public officials across the country to develop staffing solutions to meet industry demands, tackle the issue of workforce preparedness, and reinvigorate the employee base to remain competitive in the global economy, officials said.

"We have about 3,000 soldiers of the Illinois National Guard returning from deployment with an economy that soured while they were gone," said Army Maj. Gen. William L. Enyart, Illinois adjutant general. "Commitments like these from employers and efforts such as the Employer Partnership Initiative as well as the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve's programs will help ensure these troops have jobs to come back to."

Since its inception in April 2008, more than 400 public and private employers have joined the initiative, officials said.

(From an Army Reserve news release.)

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Army National Guard  [ ]
Employer Partnership Initiative  [ ]
Army Reserve, Guard Launch Partnership with State Employers [ ]