November 12, 2013. Des Moines, IA. Governor Branstad this morning launched “Home Base Iowa,” an initiative to encourage military veterans to find jobs and settle down in Iowa. The initiative is raising private funds to support a national marketing campaign and facilitate one-on-one outreach to America’s departing veterans.
Branstad says, “Through their service, veterans have already proven they share the values we hold dear as Iowans – hard work, leadership, and patriotism, among others. We’ll be calling upon the business community to partner with Home Base Iowa to help us meet our goals of increasing employment in this state, decreasing veterans’ unemployment, and recruiting high quality individuals to Iowa.”
The Farmer Veteran Coalition of Iowa is supportive of the initiative and excited to help returning veterans thrive in Iowa agriculture. Over 40% of our military hails from rural areas. With agriculture playing such a crucial role in Iowa’s history and being a primary driver of Iowa’s economy, it makes sense to reach out to America’s veterans and welcome them to Iowa. Major General Tim Orr, Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard, said of the Initiative, “This is not only about veterans. Its about Iowa.” Providing a place for our veterans to return to rural America can play a crucial role in furthering Iowa’s economic and rural development.
Home Base Iowa will not only encourage employers to consider hiring military veterans but will also promote public policy that recognizes the valuable skills veterans bring civilian employers and incentivizes veterans to call Iowa home. The effort is co-chaired by former Congressman Leonard Boswell and Casey’s General Stores CEO Bob Myers.