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Governor Commends Veterans Programs as Pathway to Education and Workforce

11/11/2013 12:00 AM

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D-IL) today was joined by President of the Teamsters Local 786 Michael Yauger, President of Malcolm X College Dr. Anthony Munroe and Director, Central Region, Soldier for Life Program LTC Allan H. Lanceta to highlight programs designed to assist returning veterans in gaining the skills and credentials they need to successfully re-enter workforce.

"We must do everything possible to serve those who have served our country," Governor Quinn said. "By joining together with our Armed Forces, the City Colleges of Chicago, universities, labor and the private sector, we can create more opportunities for our veterans and military families." 

Malcolm X College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago where the event was held, partners with Heroes to Healthcare (H2HC). The grant-funded program through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity provides education, training and employment opportunities via DCEO federal WIA dollars for military veterans recently transitioning from the military to civilian life. Malcolm X College assists veterans in transferring their skills into college credit to meet civilian certification requirements through Credit for Prior Learning Initiative. For more information on enrollment please contact

To bridge the gap between military training and college credentials, Malcolm X College and all City Colleges recognize basic training by awarding honorably-discharged military personnel who enroll in an associate’s
degree program 7 credit hours in electives. The colleges also award up to half of the total credit hours required to complete a certificate or associates’ degree based on the returning veterans’ military training transcripts. For example, a student enrolled in the EMT paramedic program could receive credits for medical training received while in the military through the Credit for Prior Learning initiative.

Heroes to HealthCare Trustee and Teamsters Local 786 President Michael Yauger says: “The progress Illinois has made with partners like City Colleges of Chicago in support of our veterans and military families is critical and necessary.”

Additional programs sponsored in partnership with the Teamsters Local 786 include:

• Teamsters Military Assistance Program (TMAP) is a transition program for commercial truck drivers that is supported and funded by labor and management partners. Teamsters have spent the past 10 years working with the military and national partners in identifying solutions to transitioning commercial driver’s licenses from the military into civilian sector. In most states this is a complicated issue due to state-wide regulations and industry insurance and liability policy. or 

• Utility Workers Military Assistance Program (UMAP) is funded in partnership with the State of Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity via federal WIA dollars, UWUA Local 18007 and Peoples Gas. The program is providing a seven month training to placement at Dawson Technical Institute, part of the City Colleges of Chicago, that will allow the selected candidates to earn 52 college credits based on educational performance and on the job training. Students will be placed with selected employers inclusive to Peoples Gas in the Chicago area.  To date UMAP has placed 69 veterans, guard and reserve successfully from training to Peoples Gas employment. 

• The Veterans to Manufacturing Program is funded in partnership with Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity via federal WIA dollars was founded by the Alliance for Illinois Manufacturing with support from National Able, JARC and NORBIC. V2M is working with employers in manufacturing throughout the State of Illinois.                                  

• Helmets to Hardhats is a transition program for veterans that would like to transition into the civilian construction industries to become carpenters, plumbers, electricians, pipe fitters, sheet metal workers, bricklayers, operating engineers, iron workers and painters and extended construction industry affiliated trades.

LTC Allan H. Lanceta, Director, Central US Region for the Soldier for Life Program, said: “the work being highlighted today is superb and will only enhance the futures of our already talented and experienced soldiers.” 
Soldier for Life supports the reintegration of U.S. Army soldiers, veterans and their families. Through Soldier for Life, veterans can be connected with necessary services and employers can learn more about hiring the highly experienced veterans returning every year.

One year ago today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Colleges of Chicago Chancellor Cheryl Hyman announced City Colleges’ Service to Success initiative, to ensure Chicago’s returning veterans get the support and education they need to succeed at home.  As a result of this effort, Veteran Services Centers staffed by full-time specialists now operate at each of the City Colleges, with the final center, at Harold Washington College, opening today. A full-time recruiter is devoted to helping veterans access our colleges. City Colleges’ expanded veterans services have already led to improved outcomes for veteran students, including:   

• Veteran student completions (degree and certificates) increased by 83 percent from FY2012 to FY 2013.
• New veteran student enrollment increased by 42 percent from FY2012 to FY2013. (Overall veteran student enrollment increased 31 percent across the same period.)
• The new Service to Success Scholarship Fund awarded more than $37,000 in scholarships to 83 veterans last year.

“We want to ensure that our veterans receive the supports they need to succeed and leave with a credential of real economic value,” said Dr. Anthony Munroe, President of Malcolm X College. “We have already seen an increase in our number of incoming veteran students and veteran graduates and believe programs such as Heroes to Healthcare will help us better serve our veteran students in the transition to college and the workforce.”​​

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