Illinois National Guard

Illinois Employer Support of Guard and Reserve
IESGR Mission
Gain and maintain active support from all public and private employers for the men and women of the National Guard and Reserve.

  • Civilian Employers
  • Guard and Reserve Members


The nation's Reserve components (referring to the total of all National Guard members and Reserve forces from all branches of the military) comprise approximately 46 percent of our total available military manpower.

In this environment, civilian employers play a critical role in the defense of the nation by complying with existing employment laws protecting the rights of workers who serve in the Reserve component.


Illinois Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve has a statewide organizational structure to support the following functions:
  • Operate a proactive program directed at employers, employees, and communities that ensures understanding and appreciation of the role of the National Guard and Reserve in the Department of Defense (DoD) Total Force Policy.
  • Encourage and assist employee participation in National Guard and Reserve training programs and on military duty without civilian job impediments of any kind, to include encouraging voluntary compliance with federal and state statutes governing employment and reemployment rights of Reserve component members.
  • Encourage interaction between National Guard and Reserve units and their communities to promote public understanding of the National Guard and Reserve and encourage partnerships between civilian organizations and military units in the community.
  • Assist in preventing, resolving, or reducing employer and/or employee problems and misunderstandings that result from National Guard or Reserve membership, training, or duty requirements through information services and informal mediation. Assist in educating National Guard and Reserve members regarding their obligations and responsibilities to employers.
  • Use the military chain of command to promote better understanding of the importance of maintaining positive working relations between employers and their Reserve component employees, in order to sustain National Guard and Reserve participation.
  • Solicit the assistance of military agencies, military training schools, and military and civilian associations in educating the Reserve forces about their rights and responsibilities regarding terms and conditions of civilian employment, as stipulated in the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).
  • Recruit and develop volunteer leaders at the national and local levels to promote the development of employer personnel policies and practices that accommodate and facilitate employee participation in National Guard and Reserve activities.

The primary emphasis for a comprehensive employer outreach program is directed towards known employers of the Guard and Reserve.
Since 9-11 our service members and families have made great sacrifices and played a tremendous role in fighting terrorism and keeping our country secure. The readiness of the Guard and Reserve components is at an all-time high and we can take great pride in that achievement. However, we are now seeing unemployment and underemployment levels among members of the Guard and Reserve that are cause for concern. A secure job provides service members and their families with peace of mind, which is increasingly important as up to 22% of Guard and Reserve members face unemployment.

In this time of economic uncertainty, ESGR is focusing on connecting employers with the talented pool of service members and spouses, with the intent of facilitating meaningful employment opportunities.

The Employment Initiative Program (EIP) is a collaborative effort with federal agencies - including the Department of Labor (Veterans Affairs), the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Small Business Administration and the Office of Personnel Management - to create efficiencies, enhance the employment process and serve as an effective resource for service members and employers.

Hero2Hired (H2H), a Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, is a comprehensive employment program. The web-based portion of H2H - - features a job search site and online community that is free for Veterans, service members and employers. H2H also conducts employment-related events throughout the nation as well as state-specific job events hosted by ESGR across the country. The focus of both components of H2H is to connect employers with the talented pool of Guard and Reserve service members and spouses who are looking for work. Employment tools on include:

  • Military skills translator - converts military experience to civilian career paths
  • Job seeker profile builders
  • Social networking
  • Hiring events
  • Virtual career fairs
  • Mobile phone apps
  • A Facebook application

Hiring a service member makes good business sense. These are disciplined and skilled workers who display pride, leadership and professionalism in what they do. They understand the mission of their civilian jobs and make it a priority to get results, all while displaying a strong work ethic.

It is our goal to work leverage our partnerships and organizational alliances to improve employment opportunities for transitioning service members. EIP will use these partnerships and alliances and the ESGR volunteer network to help connect employers and service members and communicate the many employment resources available to them.

Again, the primary EIP resource for employers and veterans and Guard and Reserve service members is at:

  • Employer Partnership Web portal
    • However, the following employment resources are also available to help veterans and Guard and Reserve members and families find employment in the civilian sector.

  • Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES)
    • IDES is your direct link to Illinois workforce services: job placement and referrals. IDES and its partner agencies have a variety of resources that can help veterans find jobs and transition back to the civilian work force. Veterans employment representatives are available at local IDES offices and Illinois WorkNet Centers to help veterans access employment services.

      Through Illinois JobLink, IDES is your direct link to Illinois workforce services, job placement and referrals. IDES and its partner agencies have a variety of resources that can help veterans find jobs and transition back to the civilian work force. Veterans employment representatives are available at local IDES offices and Illinois WorkNet Centers to help veterans access employment services.

      Illinois JobLink is an Internet-based job search tool that features current job openings. Go to and log in to Illinois JobLink. Click on "Find a Job" and create a basic or plus account based on your needs.

  • Veterans Employment Coordination Service (VECS)
    • Provides one-on-one career assistance to Veterans interested in employment opportunities within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  • Feds Hire Vets
  • Department of Labor (VETS)
    • DOL-VETS serves veterans and service members providing resources and expertise to assist and prepare them to obtain meaningful careers, maximize employment opportunities and protect their employment rights.

  • VetSucess
    • A partnership between the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) program and the Department of Labor's Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) program. The two programs work together in partnership to provide direct job service to VR&E participants on a national as well as local level.

  • Troops to Teachers
    • Troops to Teachers provides counseling and referral services to military personnel interested in beginning a second career in public education as a teacher. The DANTES Troops to Teachers office will help applicants identify teacher certification requirements, programs leading to certification and employment opportunities.

  • Helmets to Hardhats
    • Helmets to Hardhats is a national program that connects National Guard, Reserve and transitioning active-duty military members with quality career training and employment opportunities within the construction industry.

  • VetJobs
    • VetJobs is available to assist all members of "the United States military family". This includes officer and enlisted, active duty, transitioning military, Reservists, veterans, retirees, of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Merchant Marine, National Guard, Navy, NOAA and Public Health Service along with spouses, eligible former spouses, widows, widowers and dependents and DoD civilians.

Additional Resources
Contact ESGR

IESGR Program Director
1301 N. MacArthur Blvd., Springfield, Illinois 62702