February 24, 2014
Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds have announced that Greene County has earned the designation as the first Home Base Iowa community.
Branstad and Reynolds plan to be in Jefferson at the AAI Showroom from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 13, for a ceremony introducing the program to the county.
Greene County officials, led by Home State Bank President Sid Jones and Greene County Development Corporation Executive Director Ken Paxton, have worked closely with the governor's office on the initiative to recruit returning military veterans to Iowa.
"Since we launched the bipartisan Home Base Iowa veterans jobs plan, Greene County has made it clear that the community stands ready to welcome service members and match them with good, high-paying jobs," Branstad said. "I commend the entire Greene County community for their work and look forward to being there in March to celebrate the achievement."
Paxton and Greene County business leaders are organizing veterans and workforce delegations to greet Branstad and Reynolds and other state officials associated with Home Base Iowa.
"When Governor Branstad and I launched the Home Base Iowa initiative to attract service members with their unique skillsets to Iowa, Greene County was there standing ready to adopt measures to become a Home Base Iowa Community," Reynolds said. "I look forward to joining Greene County leaders, business and citizens to announce the exciting designation."
The governor rolled out the overarching plan last fall at Camp Dodge in an event attended by Greene County leaders. In a follow-up news conference at the State Capitol, where has was joined by Paxton, Branstad described how cities and counties and businesses can earn designations as veteran friendly through jobs and housing programs, as well as other efforts.
A White House report says each year the military separates between 240,000 and 360,000 service members - and that the services are "expected to separate a million service members over the next several years."
Branstad said Iowans have a responsibility to those veterans - professionals who also have the training to make enormous contributions in the state.
"We want veterans to know that Iowans can provide them with not just a job, but a career in a caring welcoming community," Branstad said.
Branstad will detail resources and programs involved with Home Base Iowa during the Greene County event.
In Greene County, a countywide Veterans Jobs and Career Task Force led by a number of businesspeople and former military veterans has been meeting for about four months to leverage elements of the developing state plan. The goal: recruit veterans and their families for more than 1,000 jobs Greene County officials expect will be available in the next three to five years. -www.carrolspaper.com