11/4/20 - A Message from Secretary Hou: Bright Spot - Martin Fierro

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Good Afternoon IDHS Staff,

Next week, IDHS will join Governor Pritzker and our fellow State agencies as we come together to celebrate Veterans Day, allowing us to pay homage to our relatives, friends, and community members who have dutifully served and protected our country. With nearly 800,000 Veterans living across Illinois, IDHS is committed to being a partner and ally in supporting veterans as they return home and seek career opportunities. Today, I am honored to highlight Martin Fierro and our veteran recruitment efforts.

As a bilingual Spanish speaker, Martin came from the U.S. Army with experience in translating local Spanish to English for his fellow soldiers while being stationed in Central America. After leaving the Army, Martin eventually met IDHS Recruiter, Carlos Charneco, who was able to successfully recruit Martin by informing him of the veteran preference available to those seeking State employment. Martin quickly jumped at the opportunity, recognizing that a career in State government would allow him to continue serving his country. Joining IDHS in 2014, Martin has used his voice to recruit other bilingual veterans, and to ensure that Latinos across the state are able to take advantage of valuable State services.

Across Illinois State agencies, nearly 8,000 veterans are employed. Thanks to Carlos, IDHS continues to lead as an advocate in employing veterans. We employ 1,100 veterans, connecting these skilled workers to a career that provides similar structured processes and order as their military careers. Thanks to our partnerships with other State agencies like the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs, and the Illinois Department of Employment Security, we are able to regularly host veteran recruitment events, at which we are able to meet other outstanding veterans like Joel Garcia, Eddie Garcia, John Caudillo, and Arthur Gonzalez.

Martin Fierro Fun Facts:

  • Martin is a graduate of Northwestern University.
  • Martin has two sons, ages 8 and 13.
  • Martin's family owns a Mexican restaurant, where he periodically helps out his mother.

Martin and the many veterans across IDHS who work with us every day, thank you for your service, and for sharing your talents with us. Carlos, thank you for your diligence and commitment to increasing veteran and minority veteran participation.

I look forward to celebrating Veterans Day with you.

Thank you,


Grace B. Hou

Secretary, IDHS