There were around 800 jobs up for grabs in Springfield Friday, and veterans got first dibs. If you missed out there are more job getting opportunities near you.

Dennis Tipsword, chairman of the Veterans Employment and Education Commission for the American Legion Department of Illinois, said jobs fairs with veterans as the focus are beneficial for employers.

“When they get out of the service, veterans are very highly skilled people,” Tipsword said. “They’re trained, they come to work on time, they’re the kind of employee the employers are looking for.”

Some of the jobs on hand in Springfield were from the private sector like FedEx, Home Depot, Cintas and Walmart. There were also public-sector jobs from the Federal Bureau of Prisons and municipal governments from around the state.

While Friday’s large event in Springfield was a one-day event, Illinois Department of Employment Security Director Jeff Mays said there are smaller scale events around the state nearly every week.

“Where an employer may come to us and say ‘listen we need 40 employees with these kinds of skills, how can you help us out’,” Mays said. “So we’ll call them in and try to make the match.”

Mays said there’s similar demand for employees all around the state, and that’s good for employees.

“As you have labor shortages, wages are going to increase,” Mays said. “Benefits are going to increase, people that are sitting on the sidelines right now may be more entice thinking they could be more successful this time around.”

Mays said it’s been Gov. Bruce Rauner’s goal to get more people employed in Illinois.

“We want to be the place where employers can go to find the skills that they need to have and we want to be the place where the unemployed can find the employers that are looking for their skills,” Mays said.

For job fair events and locations near you, visit


Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other statewide issues for INN. Bishop has years of award winning broadcast experience, and previously hosted “The Council Roundup,” as well as “Bishop On Air,” a morning-drive current events talk show.

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