Polk County Veterans Resources

designates CHAMP and City Partners

Polk County

About: Founded in 1846, Polk County was named after President James K. Polk. There are many things to do in the area such as taking a trip to the Blank Park Zoo, riding roller coasters at Adventureland Park, relaxing at Saylorville Lake, learning about the early settlers at Living History Farms, exploring the Iowa State Capitol and attending concerts at Wells Fargo Arena or the historical Hoyt Sherman. Polk County provides a multitude of activities for young adults, active adults and families.

Cities: Alleman, Altoona, Ankeny, Bondurant, Carlisle, Clive, Des Moines, Elkhart, Granger, Grimes, Johnston, Mitchellville, Norwalk, Pleasant Hill, Polk City, Runnells, Sheldahl, Urbandale, West Des Moines, Windsor Heights

Website: Polk County

Contact: Rebecca Buch / 515.286.3670



An Introduction to HBI Cities

Home Base Iowa logoHome Base Iowa (HBI) Cities provide incentives that stand alone or complement those offered by the county and state. They offer additional resources and discounts for veterans who relocate into these communities. HBI Cities have completed a city council resolution supporting the program, provide an incentive/welcome package, ensure 10 percent of eligible businesses are HBI businesses and have the ability to purchase HBI signs. Click here to see all HBI Cities

Learn more about these cities below:


Ankeny is a Home Base Iowa City Named the third fastest-growing city in the nation in 2016, Ankeny is nationally known as a one of the best places to raise a family. Take a hike at Big Creek State Park, hop on your bicycle and take a spin along the High Trestle Trail or enjoy a relaxing trip to the Ankeny Area Historical Society. There is much to see and do in this thriving city.

Date of HBI Establishment: June 2016

Home Base Iowa Incentives: City of Ankeny Veteran Incentives

Website: HBI Ankeny

Contact: Lindsey Fox / lfox@ankenyiowa.gov / 515.965.6431



With its small town appeal, Bondurant is a great place to build your business and raise your family. Away from much of the clutter and noise of larger cities, Bondurant is a solid community built upon good old fashioned family values. In Bondurant, you’ll find friendly neighbors, a great school system, honest and hardworking businesses and plenty of room to enjoy the outdoors.

Bondurant is conveniently located in Central Iowa, right off of I-80 and within minutes of I-35. Highway 65 runs through town, making Bondurant a premier location for business.

Date of HBI Establishment: February 2017

Home Base Iowa Incentives: City of Bondurant Veteran Incentives 

Website: City of Bondurant

Contact: Shelby Hagan / shagan@cityofbondurant.com / 515.967.2418

Des Moines

As Iowa's capital city, Des Moines is a hub of government action, business activity and cultural affairs. With a Metro population of 569,633, Des Moines is a bustling metropolis. But though we have big city bustle, we're extremely proud of our small town atmosphere. Our community offers quality schools, superb public services, and friendly neighborhoods. Des Moines is a great place to live, work, and play!

Date of HBI Establishment: June 2017

Home Base Iowa Incentives: City of Des Moines Veteran Incentives

Website: City of Des Moines Home Base Iowa

Contact: Pa Goldbeck / pvgoldbeck@dmgov.org / 515-283-4054


Grimes is a Home Base Iowa city The city's motto, "Your Hometown, Your Lifestyle" rings true through its outdoor activities at Water Works and Lions Park. Take time to try its famous sweet corn!

Date of HBI Establishment: July 2015

Home Base Iowa Incentives: City of Grimes Veteran Incentives 

Website: HBI Grimes

Contact: Dini Anderlik / chamber@grimesiowa.com / 515.986.3036



Johnston is a Home Base Iowa city Created to act as a railroad between Des Moines and Perry, Johnston is now known as home to DuPont Pioneer, Iowa Public Television and the Camp Dodge military installation.

Date of HBI Establishment: March 2015

Home Base Iowa Incentives: City of Johnston Veteran Incentives 

Website: HBI Johnston

Contact: Janet Wilwerding / jwilwerding@cityofjohnston.com / 515.727.7781


Pleasant Hill

Pleasant Hill is a young and vibrant community with a strong sense of direction. Incorporated in 1956, the City now has more than 9,314 residents. Residents have the option between two school districts, Des Moines Public Schools and Southeast Polk Community School District. We are focused on commerce, quality economic development, and recreation to compliment our friendly neighborhoods, scenic natural features, and great schools. Our close proximity to downtown and multiple transportation connections ensure short commutes to anyplace in the metro area.

Date of HBI Establishment: February 2017

Home Base Iowa Incentives: City of Pleasant Hill Veteran Incentives

Website: City of Pleasant Hill Home Base Iowa Page

Contact: Janet Wilwerding / jwilwerding@pleasanthilliowa.org / 515.309.9406



Urbandale is a Home Base Iowa city Named one the "100 Best Places to Live in Money Magazine, this primarily residential city is known as home to the Des Moines Buccaneers, Living History Farms and being "Uniquely Urbandale."

Date of HBI Establishment: May 2016

Home Base Iowa Incentives: City of Urbandale Veteran Incentives

Website: HBI Urbandale

Contact: Katie Gieszler / kgieszler@urbandale.org / 515.331.6738


West Des Moines

West Des Moines is a Home Base Iowa city A shopping hub, veterans won't be disappointed in the opportunities available in West Des Moines. From visiting trendy, unique shops at Valley Junction to dancing in the Val Air Ballroom, a boring weekend is no longer a concern.

Date of HBI Establishment: September 2015

Home Base Iowa Incentives: City of West Des Moines Veteran Incentives

Website: HBI West Des Moines

Contact: McKinlee Ritter /  McKinlee.Ritter@wdm.iowa.gov / 515.222.3598

Polk County - Veteran Director

Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs Logo

County service offices assist veterans with compensation/pensions, medical care, military records, grave markers and veteran home loans. Some counties may also have dedicated funds to assist with temporary shelter/utilities, food/health supplies, medical/dental, job placement, counseling and transportation. To learn more, visit the Polk County Veterans Office.

The Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs, with the support of citizens, recognizes and honors Iowa’s veterans and their families by providing the highest quality programs, services and benefits. Each of Iowa’s 99 counties has a Commissioner of Veterans Affairs and a county director. Veterans may wish to utilize the county office as the first point of contact.



Des Moines IowaWORKS Center Information

Iowa Workforce Development Logo

IowaWORKS Centers are committed to providing quality employment services to all military service members and their spouses. All veterans and their spouse may be eligible for priority service.  Please let a team member know upon check-in of your veteran status. IowaWORKS Centers provide a full range of job/career assistance. Individual services include:

  • Career counseling and job search skills development
  • Help locating employment and Registered Apprenticeship opportunities
  • Academic skill testing and hands-on computer classes
  • Creating resumes/cover letters and interview preparation

Please visit or contact the Des Moines IowaWORKS Center for more information: 

200 Army Post Road
Des Moines, IA 50315
Phone: 515-281-9619
Email: Region11.Web@iwd.iowa.gov 



Iowa National Guard Family Services

Iowa National Guard- Warrior and Family Services Branch LogoThe Warrior & Family Services Branch is a Joint Force initiative that provides assistance to all military families, regardless of branch or component, who find themselves beyond the support capability of active duty military facilities or their home units. The Warrior & Family Services Branch acts as a network that allows families to mutually support one another. By providing families with information, resources and support, the program strengthens both the unit and service members. To learn more about these services, visit Warrior & Family Services.



  Iowa Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves (ESGR)

Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve LogoThe Iowa ESGR team is comprised of approximately 106 dedicated volunteers and three full-time staff members prepared to engage, inform and support employers and reserve component members throughout the state. Iowa has a proud history of outstanding employer support for reserve component members. Today’s team continues this tradition through a strong emphasis on “prevention through education.” To learn more about these services, visit the Iowa ESGR.



Non-Profit Veteran Support Organizations

This is the American Legion logoThe American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, war-time veteran organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is a community-service organization which has reached nearly three million members, men and women at almost 15,000 American Legion posts worldwide. These posts are organized into 55 departments -- one for each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico and the Philippines. The American Legion's national headquarters is in Indianapolis, with additional offices in Washington, D.C. The American Legion Department of Iowa is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa.  The Department Service Office is located in the Federal Building in Des Moines, with an additional office located in the VA Medical Center in Iowa City. Visit the Iowa Legion or email: info@ialegion.org.



Labor Market Information & Future Ready Iowa

Iowa Workforce Development LogoThe Workforce Needs Assessment survey is an annual employer survey conducted by Iowa Workforce Development. Employers are asked to provide information regarding both their current level of employment and their current and expected job vacancies. The goal of the survey is to collect data regarding the demand for workers and the skills required of workers, both statewide and regionally. You can search for and view the Laborshed Report by city or county.


For additional help on determining career opportunities in Iowa, visit the Future Ready Iowa website. The site connects job seekers to tools for finding education, training and jobs. It uses Labor Market Information to identify the number of jobs, the average median income and what training is required within a geographically determined distance from the job seeker.

Website features include: Iowa's Career Coach, Career Exploration, Education and Training Opportunities, Financial Resources and Finding a Job


Polk County Business Partners

County Business Partner logoHome Base Iowa (HBI) Businesses are the centerpiece of the HBI effort. Veterans who have served and are looking for a career in Iowa can research any of the over 1,200 HBI Businesses. Each business has committed to hiring transitioning service members and veterans for semi-skilled and skilled positions in Iowa. 

Many of these businesses actively attend job fairs to recruit veterans. Based on an Iowa Business Council report, the program has already provided over 2,000 jobs for veterans. HBI businesses also provide donations to assist with marketing efforts. View HBI Job Openings throughout the state and HBI businesses in Polk County.



An Introduction to CHAMPs

Iowa Department of Education LogoIowa provides qualified veterans, their spouses and dependents in-state tuition at Iowa's colleges and universities. Certified Higher Academic Military Partners (CHAMPs) offer premium higher education incentives. In order for institutions to become a CHAMPs partner, at least nine out of 12 criteria in three categories must be met. Categories include transitional considerations, financial considerations and on-campus resources. These higher learning centers often offer on-campus support, consistent credit for military courses and provide special financial considerations. View a full list and learn more about​ all CHAMPs institutions in Iowa.


CHAMPs institutions in this county are listed below:

Des Moines Area Community College

Des Moines Area Commuity College is a recognized CHAMPS partnerDes Moines Area Community College,  a public institution that offers 168 programs, is the largest two-year college. With campuses in Ankeny, Boone, Carroll, Newton, Urban/Des Moines and West Des Moines, Des Moines Area Community College can accommodate the needs of many people seeking higher education.

For more information:

Contact: 515.964.6200 / Email Portal

Website: DMACC Veterans Page

Drake University

Drake University is recognized as one of the finest institutions of higher learning in the Midwest. A mid-sized, private university in Des Moines, Iowa, we offer the benefits and resources of a larger institution along with the advantages of intimate class sizes and close personal relationships. Our mission is to provide an exceptional learning environment that prepares students for meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments, and responsible global citizenship.

For more information:

Contact: Nancy Geiger / 515.271.3095 / nancy.geiger@drake.edu

Website: Drake University Veterans Page



Mercy College of Health Science

Mercy College of Health Science is a CHAMPs partnerMercy College of Health Sciences is an institution of higher learning located in downtown Des Moines. Mercy is a Catholic institution that prepares graduates for service and leadership in the healthcare community by integrating its core values with a professional and liberal arts and sciences education.

For more information:

Contact: 515.643.3180 / admissions@mchs.edu

Website: Mercy College Veterans Page

Purdue University Global

Kaplan University is a CHAMPs partner

Purdue Global is a world-class university within a world-class public university system. When it comes to balancing a career, family, and school, we know that flexibility is key. That's why we put you in control of your education, offering innovative learning options that let you choose what, how, and where you learn.

As a CHAMPS institution here in Iowa, our advisors work closely with you to understand your personal learning needs. They also evaluate your academic, professional, or military experiences to give you credit for what you already know. Together, we'll determine the fastest, most affordable path to your degree and career.

With more than 180 online programs at the associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels, our personalized approach to education and modern curriculum give you the skills you need to make an immediate impact on your career and the edge to conquer whatever comes next.

Campus locations in Mason City, Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls, Davenport and Des Moines. 

For more information:

Contact: 866.210.5233 / MSSC@purdueglobal.edu

Website: Purdue University Global Veteran Webpage


University of Iowa

University of Iowa is a CHAMPs partnerThe University of Iowa is a public research university located in Iowa City, Iowa. The University of Iowa is the oldest university in the state. The University of Iowa is known around the world for its balanced commitment to the arts, sciences and humanities. It's home to one of the nation's largest academic medical centers, the pioneering Iowa Writers' Workshop and hundreds of options for affordable, accessible education.

For more information:

Phone: 319.335.3500 / Email portal

Website: U of I Veterans Page

Upper Iowa University

Upper Iowa University is a CHAMPs partnerLocated near Volga River in the community of Fayette, Upper Iowa University is home to 900 enrolled students. Upper Iowa University provides student-centered undergraduate and graduate educational programs. Upper Iowa University has an environment in which diversity is respected, encouraged and nurtured.

For more information: 

Contact: 800.553.4150 / info@uiu.edu

Website: UIU Veterans Page