GRUNDY COUNTY, IOWA (September 27, 2019) — Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend and Home Base Iowa Program Manager Jason Kemp announced that Grundy County has become the 96th Home Base Iowa (HBI) Community. Home Base Iowa is a one-of-a-kind program that connects veterans and transitioning-service members with over 2,400 businesses statewide who have pledged to hire over 15,000 veterans. In addition to the 96 communities statewide, the program also has 27 college and university partners.
“As the lead economic development organization serving Grundy County, we have made workforce attraction one of our main priorities, and as we all know, veterans have skills and a work ethic that our employers are looking to attract,” said Jeff Kolb, Executive Director of the Butler-Grundy Development Alliance. The organization partnered with the County Veteran Affairs Office to complete the work needed for the county to qualify to participate in the program. “We are honored to have the opportunity to connect one on one with veterans and tell them why Grundy County is a great place to make their new home.”
The program connects businesses and communities with veteran job-seekers using the “Find a Veteran” feature on the Home Base Iowa website. This feature allows Home Base Iowa businesses and communities access to all active veteran job-seekers who have submitted their résumé through the website. The program has had over 1,000 veteran resumes submitted in the last 18 months.
Businesses and communities are also alerted by email when a veteran résumé is published with matching location and industry criteria. These features allow program partners to directly connect and market to veterans by providing businesses with a user-friendly platform to find veteran applicants with the skills they need. The Home Base Iowa website also helps communities market their opportunities and quality of life in order to attract veterans and their families.
“The Grundy County Veterans Affairs Commission is proud that we can call Grundy County a Home Base Iowa Community,” said Janetta Miller-Buck, Veterans Service Officer. “With the shortage in the labor market, Grundy County has to be innovative in attracting quality employees, and many veterans love to call Grundy County home and we would like to increase those numbers to draw new families to the area. It is very exciting to have this resource.”
Iowa offers many incentives to veterans and transitioning service members including no state taxes on military pension and veteran-hiring preference, which allows veteran preferential-treatment in hiring decisions for both public and private organizations. Additionally, the state of Iowa provides up to $7,500 for the down-payment or closing costs of a home through the Iowa Finance Authority Military Homeownership Assistance Program (subject to funding availability). The state also provides in-state tuition rates for qualifying veterans, their spouses and their dependents.
Counties are designated as Home Base Iowa Communities based on four standards:
- Within a designated community, at least 10 percent of eligible, hiring businesses must become HBI businesses and pledged to hire veterans,
- Community develops its own incentive package for veterans,
- Community prominently displays HBI Community designation, and
- Community must obtain a resolution of support from the appropriate local governing body
Grundy County has met or exceeded these requirements. For more information on Home Base Iowa, please visit www.HomeBaseIowa.gov.