young veteran SkillBridgeSPRINGFIELD – To help service members who are transitioning from active duty to the workforce, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) championed a law to designate the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs as the primary assistance agency under the U.S. SkillBridge Program that helps employers find skilled workers.

“We are assisting former military residents with transitioning back into the workforce by creating a hub of resources for them to use,” Stadelman said. “Through IDVA, veterans will find assistance where they can find benefits as well, and work toward returning to a job that fulfils them.”

The program was recently suggested by the AAR Corp. to help transition veterans to jobs within similar fields and to assist with efforts in increasing the workforce at the Rockford Airport.

House Bill 5385 designates IDVA as the primary statewide assistance organization under the U.S. Department of Defense’s SkillBridge Program, which matches service members who are transitioning from active duty with workforce development opportunities at participating employers.

The SkillBridge program helps active duty members gain job experience and transition to civilian workforce by matching service members with opportunities at participating businesses where their skill sets match.

“This program will help veterans return to work after their time in service,” Stadelman said. “Veterans should be able to find the assistance they need in a singular place, whether it be for health, home, or for a job, we are going to be here to help them.”

House Bill 5385 was signed by the governor on Friday.