Supervisors approve Home Base Iowa designation

Grundy County will join 65 others in Iowa as a ‘Home Base Iowa’ county, a designation that indicates efforts to hire and welcome military veterans, after a unanimous vote of support from the board of supervisors on Monday morning.


The initiative, which began under former Governor Terry Branstad, encourages retired service members to live, work and retire in Iowa through special incentives. According to Lacie Westendorf of the IowaWorks Cedar Valley office, the leaders of eight businesses either headquartered in Grundy County or with operations here—HEM Paving, Mid-American Energy, Waste Connections, Rainbow International, Unifirst, Titan Manufacturing and Oakview Nursing Home—have all expressed a willingness to participate in the program, and management, manufacturing, state and city jobs, logistics and office administration are the top fields for veterans who are seeking employment.


Westendorf noted that each month, about 50 new veterans sign up for HBI online (at least a quarter of them come from out of state), and the program has produced at least 100 success stories thus far. Supervisor Barb Smith added that in a 13-county region, Grundy County currently has the lowest unemployment rate among residents, so attracting new workers and entrepreneurs is a must moving forward.


“Businesses are here, and they want to hire veterans,” Westendorf said. 


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