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Clarke County becomes state’s third Home Base Iowa Community

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 11:25 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2014 10:21 a.m. CDT
OST photo by AMY HANSEN Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds designates Clarke County as the third Home Base Iowa Community during a ceremony at Salford Farm Machinery Tuesday, Aug. 19.

It’s good to be No. 3.

On Tuesday, Aug. 19, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds was at Salford Farm Machinery in Osceola to designate Clarke County as the state’s third Home Base Iowa Community.

“Honestly, there’s nothing like coming back home, especially when we’re celebrating a success like this,” Reynolds said. “I’m really proud of Clarke County and Osceola for becoming a Home Base Iowa Community.”

Home Base Iowa designated communities serve as centers of opportunity for military veterans. Home Base Iowa is a non-profit, private-public partnership that focuses on recruiting veterans and active duty service members for quality, well-paying private-sector jobs in Iowa.

All Home Base Iowa Communities must have 10 percent of businesses in the area achieve Home Base Iowa Business status, develop its own incentive package for veterans and obtain a resolution of support from the appropriate governing body.

The other two Home Base Iowa Communities in the state are Greene and Howard counties.

Helping veterans

“We want to attract retiring and transitioning military members who have the skills, the determination, the discipline, and, of course, the teamwork to help companies in our communities grow,” Reynolds said.

Bill Trickey, executive director of Clarke County Iowa Development Corporation, was at Salford to accept Clarke County’s official designation as a Home Base Iowa community.

Clarke County was awarded this honor for its commitment to develop and grow a public-private partnership between the county and local businesses that will promote hiring of U.S. military veterans.

Clarke County will take the initiative in displaying and marketing the Home Base Iowa designation within numerous websites and community signage.

Officials have also identified several items to be included for the veterans in a welcome package including, but not limited to:

• Military Home Assistance Program, providing eligible service members and veterans with a $1,000 - $2,000 grant for closing costs to purchase a home in Clarke County.

• Complimentary rooms at Lakeside Hotel and Casino while finding housing in Clarke County.

Returning home

Reynolds said the country will soon be faced with the transition of numerous active duty military members returning to civilian life in the next five years.

“We want to let them know that Iowa welcomes them with open arms,” she said. “That we have great opportunities for veterans right here in the state of Iowa with some significant benefits that were put in place through the Home Base Iowa act.”

The initiative is currently co-chaired by former Democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell and Casey’s Chief Executive Officer Bob Meyers, both of whom are veterans themselves.

According to Reynolds, Iowa has more than 100 Home Base Iowa businesses that are committed to hiring veterans.

“It’s another economic tool in the toolbox,” she said.

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