Prominently display the designation

At a news conference Monday, Sioux City officials laid out a goal of becoming the first Iowa city designated as a Home Base Iowa community.

Home Base Iowa is a new private-public partnership that seeks to make the state a top destination for the tens of thousands of job-seeking veterans who will be discharged from active duty over the next several years. It's the largest drawdown of active duty forces since World War II, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Local officials are pushing to sign up as many local employers as possible for the Home Base initiative. They made an appeal Monday night to businesses at the Chamber's annual dinner, which drew a sell-out crowd of 1,800 at the Convention Center.

To achieve a Home Base Iowa designation, at least 10 percent of the businesses in a city, county or region must sign up. In Sioux City, the minimum number is about 175, City Economic Development Director Marty Dougherty said.

The program asks employers to set a goal for the number of veterans they intend to hire by the end of 2018 and post their job listings on the Home Base Iowa website. To qualify, employers also enroll in the state's Skilled Iowa Program.

Home Base Iowa communities must obtain letters of support from a governing body and prominently display the designation.

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