Why is Home Base Iowa Important
Home Base Iowa (HBI) is a one-of-a-kind program connecting veterans and transitioning service members with HBI partners and resources. Currently, Iowa’s unemployment rate is at 3.1 percent and businesses are looking to hire skilled workers and this program helps connect these businesses with qualified veterans looking for career opportunities. Countless resources are available to help veterans and their families with education and in transitioning to a new community with focused support and individuals who want to help. Home Base Iowa’s private-public partnership provides a high level of commitment for our veterans, transitioning service members and their families.
Home Base Iowa Background
The Home Base Iowa (HBI) program is an initiative put forward by Governor Terry Branstad and Major General Tim Orr, the Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard. They recognized an opportunity to honor all veterans and help bridge Iowa’s current skills gap. Home Base Iowa was developed as a non-profit, private-public partnership to recruit veterans and transitioning service members and help them find private-sector careers in Iowa. Bob Meyers, CEO of Casey’s, and Congressmen Leonard Boswell are co-chairs of the initiative. We have put together an HBI video(link is external)which helps explain the program.
In 2014, the Iowa Legislature overwhelmingly passed the HBI Act, which provides the following incentives: state income tax exemption on military pensions, $5000 military homeowner assistance, permissive veteran preference in employment, streamlined occupational licensure processes and automatic in-state tuition at public universities and community colleges for qualified veterans, spouses and their dependents.
Current Military Situation
Today, around 200,000 military members transition out of the military every year. These service members offer a wide variety of ages, skills, education, aspirations and family status. Iowa needs these attributes due to more than $9 billion in new capital investment and significant growth from existing Iowa companies. Iowa’s unemployment rate is consistently less than four percent, and that translates into having more jobs than people.
How Can Legionnaires Help in Our Community
As Legionnaires, we know how important veteran programs are to us, to the veterans in our community, and to their families. If our organization does not support these local community grassroots efforts, these programs will not be available in our community. Do not listen to the nay-sayers of this vital program. This program and its intent is good for the veteran community, for our community. The program is only as strong as those businesses, veterans, and communities working together to make an impact in our community.
Spread the word about Home Base Iowa to your family, friends, local veterans, local businesses, and community organizations. This program is much bigger than having a sign in your community. This program demonstrates the State of Iowa’s commitment to its veterans and future veterans to come. Please urge your county Board of Supervisors and City Council Members to support this veteran program. Contact the Home Base Iowa Committee with any questions, or to learn how to get involved! Contact Linda at the Chamber of Commerce at (712) 527-3289. Contact Rick at Economic Development at (712) 302-7010. Contact Anne Smith at Welcome Newcomers Mills County at (712) 520-2696. Or contact Amy Muse at the Legion at 785-341-8672.