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Prioritizing veterans

County supervisors approve veteran employment resolution

Military veterans in Hamilton County will soon have another resource to help with securing skillful employment.

During the county Board of Supervisors meeting on Sept. 24, county supervisors unanimously passed a resolution to add Hamilton County to the Home Base Iowa Initiative through Iowa Workforce Development.

The initiative was put forward by former Gov. Terry Brandstad and Maj. Gen. Tim Orr, the Adjutant General of the Iowa National Guard.The initiative was an opportunity to honor military veterans while also helping to bridge Iowa’s current skills gap.

The Iowa Legislature then passed the Home Base Iowa Act in 2014, which provides a state income tax exemption on military pensions, $5,000 military homeowner assistance, permissive veteran preference in employment, streamlined occupational licensure processes and in-state tuition assessment to eligible U.S. veterans and their families.

By approving the resolution to establish Hamilton County as a Home Base Iowa county, the county is showing it is in favor of and supports veterans and hiring veterans, said Sherri Vaughn, business marketing specialist for IowaWorks.

HBI has a website specifically dedicated for veterans to post their resumes and participating HBI businesses to search for prospective employees.

“For businesses that register on that website, we are the only state in the United States that has a special website just for veterans to post their resumes,” Vaughn said. “Once and employer registers on that website, they will be notified and also able to see any resumes of veterans that are looking for work.”

According to information from HBI, around 200,000 military service members transition out of the military every year. Those veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce offer a wide variety of ages, skills, education and aspirations. HBI looks to be that bridge between businesses looking for hard-working, trustworthy employees and veterans looking for their next careers.

“In this day, we have such little unemployment that you’re looking everywhere you can (for employees to hire),” Vaughn said. “There is also a lack of skilled workers in the general population, but our veterans have skills.”

“Home Base Iowa is just a great asset to add to your community,” she added.

Several local employers have already registered with HBI to recruit and hire veterans. However, more businesses can still register at any time to help continue to grow the program.

“I want to emphasize that any businesses, countywide, that are interested in signing on as a Home Base Iowa business to hire veterans, if they have any questions, they can get in touch with me at City Hall,” said Lindsay Henderson, community vitality director for the city of Webster City.

The resolution passed by the county Board of Supervisors last week will now be sent to Gov. Kim Reynolds, who is expected to approve the measure later this week, officially designating Hamilton County a Home Base Iowa county.

A ceremony to unveil the county highway road signs that proclaim the county a member of HBI will be planned at a later date.

For more information on the Home Base Iowa initiative, visit www.homebaseiowa.gov.

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