O’Brien, Lyon and Sioux Counties announced as newest Home Base Iowa communities and Northwest Iowa Community College becomes a CHAMP (Certified Higher Academic Military Partner)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 30, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Gov. Terry Branstad announced the designation of three counties in northwest Iowa as Home Base Iowa Communities, the Administration’s focused effort to attract veterans to Iowa while providing them with great career opportunities and other benefits. In ceremonies held yesterday, the Governor joined community leaders in O’Brien County and Lyon County to recognize their efforts to become Home Base Iowa Communities. This morning, the Governor participated in Sioux County’s Home Base Iowa Community recognition. In addition, Northwest Iowa Community College (NWICC) was highlighted at all three events for achieving the Certified Higher Academic Military Partner (CHAMP) status.
“We are proud of the Home Base Iowa program because it allows our state the unique opportunity to make sure Iowa veterans are fully employed, and to recruit some of the best talent to our state,” said Governor Branstad. “These three northwest Iowa counties are going above and beyond to welcome veterans to their communities.”
Home Base Iowa connects transitioning military members and veterans with career opportunities in Iowa companies. The state of Iowa has a lot to offer veterans and transitioning service members including no state taxes on military pension, a cost of living below the national average and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation. To date, members of the Iowa Business Council, Iowa’s largest employers, have hired more than 1,500 veterans through Home Base Iowa.
Home Base Iowa designates qualified communities as centers of opportunity for military veterans based on four standards: at least 10 percent of hiring businesses within a designated community must become Home Base Iowa businesses, each community develops its own incentive package for veterans, the community prominently displays the Home Base Iowa Community designation, and obtains a resolution of support from the appropriate local governing body. O’Brien, Lyon and Sioux counties have met the criteria and are offering incentive packages that include additional home ownership assistance, new business start-up or acquisition assistance, various discounts for veterans and much more.
The governor also announced that Northwest Iowa Community College (NWICC) has met the criteria necessary to become a CHAMP. The Home Base Iowa CHAMP program allows Iowa colleges and universities to become certified for their ability to educate and assist veterans on campus. The certification will help attract veterans leaving the service to Iowa and help academic institutions market their campus as veteran-friendly. To become a Home Base Iowa CHAMP campus, educational institutions must meet criteria in each of the three categories: On-Campus Veteran Resources, Mindfulness of Service Member Transitions and Financial Considerations.
Other recognitions Iowa has recently received for work on employing veterans includes:
In March, Iowa was named one of only a handful of states to be designated an All-Vet State by “Hiring Our Heroes,” a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
In June, Iowa was named as the first state to offer “Hilton Honors Military Initiative.” This is a program set up by Hilton Worldwide, and connects military members and their families across the nation with free lodging at Hilton hotels as they pursue their job hunt, or need somewhere to stay as they move for their careers.
In July, Iowa was named the third “Get Skills to Work State” by the Manufacturing Institute and National Association of Manufacturers.
The initiative is currently co-chaired by former Congressman Leonard Boswell and Casey’s CEO Bob Meyers, both of whom are veterans themselves. For more information on Home Base Iowa, please visit www.HomeBaseIowa.gov.