Military Veterans in Iowa are now eligible for a number of benefits through the Home Base Iowa initiative. It's a law signed earlier this year that just went into effect. Benefits provided by the program include income tax exemption for military pensions, there are also education, housing, and financial benefits. It's designed to encourage veterans to return or move to the state. Marion is hoping to become one of the first Home Base Iowa Communities in the area. In Marion they are recruiting businesses to be part of the initiative and target veterans for open positions.
Before Marion can become a Home Base Iowa Community they have to develop a welcome incentive package for veterans moving to the area, what that will include still is being hashed out. They also have to get 10 percent of local businesses on board with the program. Marion Economic Development says they need to recruit 80 businesses, so far they have about 60. They believe veterans can provide skills local employers desperately need.
”Helping address the middle skilled worker or workforce gap employers are facing now. If we can recruit veterans to come to Marion, find jobs in Marion, and help our businesses employ high quality individuals it's a win win for the community and economic development,” said Chad Heiman, Marion Economic Development Company.
MEDCO calls Home Base Iowa a great marketing tool for the community. Veterans from across the country will be recruited to come to live and work in Iowa. Once they have all businesses on board and have met the other qualifications Marion can officially apply for a Home Base Iowa designation.