The Home Base Iowa Program

Summary

Home Base Iowa is a one-of-a-kind program assisting veterans and transitioning service members. Currently, Iowa’s unemployment rate is just under four percent, but businesses need skilled workers. This program helps connect these businesses with qualified veterans looking for career opportunities. Countless resources 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 and resources for our veterans, transitioning service members and their families.

Vision: Iowa is the “State of Choice” for veterans and transitioning service members for employment, education and/or continued service; and service members are valued in communities which are welcoming, affordable, safe and family-friendly.

Mission: Provide veterans and transitioning service members and their families with opportunities and benefits for a successful transition in Iowa — a place to call home.

Home Base Iowa Video

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 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 Environment

Today, somewhere between 200,000-250,000 service members are leaving the military every year. Reports state that over the next five years, the U.S. military will downsize by at least 350,000 members. 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 of less than four percent translates into having more jobs than people.