Gov. Branstad today launched an innovative new public-private partnership called Home Base Iowa, an effort that will match military veterans with jobs available across Iowa.
Home Base Iowa will raise private funds to support national targeted marketing efforts to veterans, including in-person outreach, a social media campaign and outreach through military publications.
Former Congressman Leonard Boswell and Casey's General Stores CEO Bob Myers will co-chair the effort.
"Through their service, veterans have already proven they share the values we hold dear as Iowans -- hard work, leadership, and patriotism, among others," said Branstad. "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."
Several hundred thousand veterans will leave the service over the next few years, while having a higher unemployment rate nationally.
Gov. Branstad notes that in his travel to Iowa's 99 counties, he's heard from companies that are ready to hire, but struggle to find workers with the right skills.
"We repeatedly hear from employers that they are ready to hire," said Branstad. "We've made significant investments in developing the skills of Iowa's workforce -- through education reform, increased support for community colleges, the STEM initiative, and Skilled Iowa. However, this skills gap still exists. Home Base Iowa is a public-private partnership which will recruit veterans to come to Iowa to work, to become part of our communities -- to be Iowans."
Branstad made the announcement during his weekly news conference, held at the Iowa Gold Star Museum at Camp Dodge in Johnston.