JEFFERSON, IA - Greene County and Jefferson stand poised to play a supporting local role in Gov. Terry Branstad's Home Base Iowa initiative with jobs, incentives and housing opportunities for America's military men and women.

A countywide Veterans Jobs and Career Task Force led by a number of Jefferson Business people and former military veterans have been meeting for well over a month to leverage elements of the developing state plan. The goal: recruit veterans and their families to an expected 805 jobs Greene County officials expect will be available in the next three to five years.

"This is first and foremost the right thing to do," said Ken Paxton, executive director of the Greene County Development Corporation. "It is hard to reconcile the fact that the unemployment rate for American military veterans is higher than for the general population. In Jefferson we are well positioned to help the governor make Iowa the most welcoming state in the nation for veterans. We'll do our part to turn the numbers in favor of the American veteran."

Paxton said Casey's General Stores CEO Bob Myers effectively described the motivation for Home Base Iowa during a recent event at Camp Dodge. "This is our opportunity to do more than just say 'thank you for your service,' " Myers said. Following the official rollout of Home Base Iowa at the Iowa Gold Star Museum, James O. Andrew, a Jefferson agri-businessman and Vietnam War era veteran, spoke with Branstad about the Greene County seat's preparedness to be a lead community with the state initiative.

Greene County expects to need the 805 employees as Scranton Manufacturing, Greene County Medical Center and other organizations grow. A proposed Wild Rose casino on the northwest side of the community would provide more than 250 jobs.

For more information, please contact: Ken Paxton, Greene County Development Corp. Cell phone: (515) 386-8255 Email: Ken@greenecountyiowa.com


December 03, 2013 3:36 pm - Mike Wiser Times Bureau

DES MOINES - Gov. Terry Branstad's push to get veterans to live and work in Iowa continued Tuesday with the announcement of two special designations for Iowa businesses and communities.

Branstad announced the Home Base program last month at the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum at Camp Dodge in Johnston. It's a public-private partnership created to market Iowa to military veterans as a place to live.

Under the effort announced Tuesday, businesses can seek to be named a Home Base Iowa Business and communities can seek designation as a Home Base Community."Iowa Workforce Development has fielded dozens of calls and is working to place a number of veterans already," Branstad said during a news conference Tuesday at the Capitol. "We want veterans to know that Iowa can provide them not just a job, but a career in a caring, welcoming community."

He said federal military cuts mean more veterans entering the workforce during the next five years than in recent years.

Ken Paxton, executive director of the Greene County Development Corp., hopes some of those veterans find their way to his community in near northwest Iowa.

"Jefferson and Greene County — we're extremely fortunate. We're kind of in a growth spurt right now. We have anywhere from 800-1000 jobs coming in the next couple of years, and this initiative fit with us very strongly because we need new employees," said Paxton, who joined the governor at the news conference. "We need to be able to fill these jobs as quickly as possible."

He said banks in the area have agreed to waive closing costs on home loans for veterans and area Realtors are compiling a list of all the available property so veterans have a one-stop-shop for housing options.

"We have jobs for men, for women, for part-time, for full-time, for disabled, so we think we've got a nice variety," Paxton said. "One of our kind of selling points is 'Come to our county for two jobs, not one.' Both the husband and wife can come, and we can handle both of you."

Branstad said the program, which is run through Iowa Workforce Development, is open to all veterans, not just ones who are currently transitioning out of the service.

To qualify as a Home Base Iowa Business, a company must:

  • Pledge to hire a specific number of veterans.
  • Post their jobs on the Home Base Iowa website.
  • Become a member of the existing Skilled Iowa program.
To qualify as a Home Base Community, a community must:
  • Have 10 percent of the businesses in the designated Home Base area be Home Base Iowa Businesses.
  • Provide a unique welcome and incentive package to attract veterans to their community.
  • Have a plan to prominently display their designation.
  • Obtain a resolution of support from the local governing body.

Further information about the program and the new designations is available by calling 855-9HB-IOWA or by emailing homebase@iowa.gov

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