On Dec. 17, the office of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad announced the launch of a state-sponsored website designed to entice veterans to relocate to the Hawkeye State. The website, www.homebaseiowa.org , is being described as a "one-stop shop to match veterans with employers" and what are being called "home base" communities in Iowa.
Iowa is facing a shortage of qualified workers in several key areas, most especially the manufacturing and agribusiness industries. State lawmakers, according to Branstad, are also working on measures to streamline the civilian licensing and credentialing of appropriately trained and experienced former servicemembers and their spouses. Meanwhile, the state's board of regents will be asked to grant in-state tuition status to veterans attending state schools, regardless of the length of time they have resided in Iowa.
Branstad, an Army veteran and longtime member of The American Legion, briefed the Legion's Veterans Employment & Education Division Director Joe Sharpe and Deputy Director Mark Walker on the Home Base Iowa initiative during a recent visit to Washington.