Chicago Automobile Trade Association Teams up with Illinois Department of Employment Security to Host Training Program, Job Fair for Veterans

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CHICAGO--April 23, 2013: On a mission to provide veterans with a vehicle to success, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association (CATA) introduced Operation Troop Train, an initiative to provide automotive sales training and a job fair for returning servicemen and women. The CATA partnered with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) for assistance in identifying 40 qualified and interested veterans to participate in the program.

Selected candidates will undergo a two-day training May 13-14, held at the CATA headquarters in Oakbrook Terrace, and have the opportunity to participate in a job fair that will immediately follow the training on May 14. The CATA will fill the job fair with representatives from local dealerships who are interested in meeting with these candidates face-to-face and discussing potential job openings.

The CATA and Chicago-area new-car dealerships recognize the value of helping veterans return to the work-force following active duty. While unemployment among veterans in Illinois last year averaged 7.8 percent, the number jumped to 20.4 percent for Gulf War II veterans between the ages of 18 and 24, according to IDES data. Veterans from that era between ages 25 and 34 had an unemployment rate of 10.6 percent. Some speculate that potential employers do not recognize the value of military training or that the skills are easily transferable to other areas of work.

"Some of the best employees at my dealerships are veterans. Servicemen and women are willing to put their life on the line for their job; if that doesn't show commitment and dedication, I don't know what does," said CATA Chairman Kurt Schiele. "The desired outcome with Operation Troop Train is to provide local vets with the training and tools they need to succeed, and help them make a connection that could benefit both the candidate and the employer. We have all the right resources in place and we're excited to put them to good use."

"Veterans make loyal employees because they respect authority, embrace responsibility and thrive in a team environment," said IDES Director Jay Rowell. "Creating events with our partners and through Illinois Job Link furthers our mission to put people back to work."

About The Chicago Automobile Trade Association
Founded in 1904, the Chicago Automobile Trade Association is the nation's oldest and largest metropolitan dealer organization. It is comprised of about 400 franchised new-car dealers and an additional 150 allied members. The group's dealer members employ about 19,000 people in the metropolitan area. The association has produced the world famous Chicago Auto Show since 1935. For more information please visit CATA .

About the Illinois Department of Employment Security
The Illinois Department of Employment Security supports economic stability by assisting families during difficult times, helping businesses prosper, and advocating for taxpayers by fighting against waste, fraud and abuse. IDES administers unemployment benefits, collects business contributions to fund those benefits, links employers with qualified job seekers through Illinois Job Link , and provides economic information to assist career planning and economic development.

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