Van Meter is one of seven new communities designated as a Home Base Iowa (HBI) community. Rounding out the seven are Lee County, Calhoun County, Cedar County, Hardin County, Adel, and Pella, now formally recognized as centers of opportunity for veterans and their families.
The announcement was made during the Iowa Statewide Veterans Conference 2020 on Oct. 13, 2020.
Winterset and Madison County were designated in 2017 as Home Base Iowa communities.
Home Base Iowa is a one-of-a-kind program designed to connect veterans and transitioning service members with over 2,400 businesses statewide who have pledged to hire over 16,000 Veterans. Businesses and communities can also use homebaseiowa.gov to search for veteran job seekers who have uploaded their resume to the website. In addition to the 106 communities statewide, the program also partners with 27 colleges and universities.
“We are excited to reach our goal of having all 99 Iowa counties designated as Home Base Iowa, as it will send an important message that all of Iowa is engaged in providing the best support possible to Veterans, military personnel and their families,” said Jathan Chicoine, Home Base Iowa Program Manager for State and Strategic Initiatives.
Home Base Iowa designates qualified communities as centers of opportunity for military Veterans and their families based on four standards:
Within a designated community, at least 10 percent of eligible, hiring businesses must become HBI businesses and pledged to hire veterans. The community develops its own incentive package for veterans, prominently displays HBI Community designation, and must obtain a resolution of support from the appropriate local governing body.
Iowa offers many incentives to Veterans and transitioning service members including no state taxes on military pension and Veteran hiring preference, which allows veteran preferential treatment in hiring decisions for both public and private organizations. Additionally, Veterans moving to Iowa can receive home buying assistance and special tuition rates for themselves, their spouses, and their dependents.