Sibley, Iowa — About 60 people braved the gusty winds north of Sibley on Wednesday to see Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds present the Home Base Iowa designation to Osceola County at the Capital Armament or Cap Arms production facility. Home Base Iowa is an initiative designed to provide a welcoming atmosphere to military veterans who are leaving the service, to provide them encouragement to live and work in the Home Base Iowa communities.
Reynolds says she was happy to present the designation to the county.
Cap Arms was presented as a Home Base Iowa success story. Clint Gerner, their CEO says that they encountered a very welcoming and supportive community when they moved to Sibley. The company was founded by three veterans in St. Paul Minnesota. He says they continue to “pay it forward” by using a veteran-centric hiring policy. He says they try to hire at least 50 percent veterans.
Lt. Governor Reynolds says the Home Base Iowa designation is a great marketing tool for Osceola County. She says Osceola County offers several incentives to veterans as part of the Home Base Iowa designation, from discounts to loan incentives at county banks. At the statewide level, veterans are offered an income tax exemption, says Reynolds.
She says Iowa is now seen as a national leader with veterans’ organizations. The Lieutenant Governor says the over 2000 veterans have been hired since the program started in 2014. According to her, it works so well because it’s a public-private partnership.
Home Base Iowa Director Jason Kemp also spoke at the meeting, telling people about the Home Base Iowa web site at homebaseiowa.gov. He says it’s a great place for employers and veterans to connect. He says one of the benefits of the site is that it helps veterans translate their military experience into skills that employers are looking for.
Also speaking at the meeting were Osceola County Supervisor chairman Mike Schulte, Supervisor Phil Bootsma, and Osceola County Economic Development Director Mike Earll.