Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad today designated Greene County as the first Home Base Iowa Community in the state.

Home Base Iowa is an initiative aimed at attracting military veterans to jobs in the state. Greene County has added 31 Home Base Iowa businesses, which have a goal of hiring 321 veterans collectively over the next five years.

The initiative is a step toward trying to close the skilled worker gap in the state, and officials in Greene County and the city of Jefferson expect more than 800 skilled employees will be needed in the area over the next five years.