Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ Military veterans are finding jobs in Iowa with the help of a new state program, Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday.

Branstad said 23 veterans have gotten jobs so far through the Home Base Iowa program, which he signed into law this year. The program is designed to make it easier for veterans to transition into civilian jobs in the state. A total of 86 veterans have sought job support and other services through the program.

“We want to become the envy of the nation in terms of recruiting veterans to our state and matching them with quality careers,” Branstad said. “Iowa is a business friendly state. We’re a veterans friendly state.”

There will be a job fair for veterans on Thursday in Davenport. At least 35 employers are expected to attend, including Bank of America, Caterpillar, Monsanto, Tyson Foods and UPS.

Home Base Iowa exempts federal retirement pay received for military service and survivor benefits from state individual income tax. It also eliminates special issuance fees of $25 to $35 for special military service license plates and allows businesses to grant a preference in hiring and promotion of veterans and some spouses.

In addition, community colleges, state universities and private colleges must file certain reports on educational credits awarded to veterans and professional. Occupational licensing boards must adopt rules to provide credit toward licensure for veterans with appropriate military education, service, and training.