Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announced a partnership with Hines Veterans Administration Hospital and the Veterans Assistance Commission of Will County to create a certified computer course that places local veterans on a realistic and promising path to careers in the information technology field.
The A+ Certification Program involves a quality instructional course that will provide computer technology training for 10 local veterans who receive services through Hines VA Hospital and the local VAC.
Glasgow, who has a long history of partnering with the local VAC, is providing one of the information technology professionals in his office to teach the two-part, 16-week course at no cost to the veterans. He also is directing the expenditure of $125 per participant, drawn from money he seized from criminals engaged in illegal money laundering activities, to pay for texts and supplies for veterans who take the course.
Over the past decade, the state's attorney has provided $75,000 in funding seized from criminal activities to pay for two shuttle buses for the local VAC to transport veterans to and from necessary medical appointments at Hines VA Hospital and/or Silver Cross Hospital.
“We can never repay our local veterans for their selfless dedication and sacrifice to our country, which is the reason we enjoy our unparalleled freedoms,” Glasgow said. “When they return from their service, we as a society are duty bound to do everything in our power to ensure they have access to proper medical care as well as educational and training opportunities that will enable them to succeed. I am so proud to utilize these seizure funds in a creative manner to help fulfill our duty.”
Additionally, Hines and the local VAC have obtained grants to cover the costs of vouchers for two exams that veterans must complete and pass to receive A+ Certification. Also, Grunt Style, a Carol Stream-based company that sells high-quality patriotic clothing and products, has partnered with the State’s Attorney, Hines and the VAC and will provide the laptop computers that participating veterans will use in the program.
"Providing training to our veterans here at the Joliet VA clinic is another great example of what can be accomplished in our communities when we work together to put the needs and interests of our veterans first," said Hines VA Hospital Director Steven Braverman. "This course provides marketable skills and certification that our veterans can use to find jobs that will put roofs over their heads and food on their plates."
“This innovative pilot program demonstrates how forging creative partnerships with community leaders like State’s Attorney Glasgow and businesses like Grunt Style can assist veterans with training that will provide them access to quality jobs,” said Kristina McNichol, director of Will County’s VAC. “Our goal is to establish a program that can be duplicated by VACs throughout the state.”
The program was announced during a town hall meeting on veterans issues held Monday at the Hines VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic in Joliet.