Ottumwa looks to welcome veterans to the community

Ottumwa kicked-off its involvement with Home Base Iowa Wednesday afternoon at the Bridge View Center./KTVO.

The City of Bridges is officially part of the Home Base Iowa program.

Thursday afternoon at the Bridge View Center city officials and local businesses celebrated the start of this new program for Ottumwa and Wapello County.

Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Connie Hammersley-Wilson told KTVO it’s taken an entire year for the city to reach this point.

“We can start recruiting great veterans to come to Ottumwa, to work here, to bring their families, here to grow our population with amazing, new citizens that will bring a whole new fresh-look aspect and energy to our community,” said Hammersley-Wilson.

But, rolling out the Home Base Iowa program wasn’t the only thing happening Thursday at the Bridge View Center.

As part of the kick-off, nearly 40 local businesses and organizations showed up with tables offering job information as well as resources to help veterans.

“There’s more jobs than there are people in the area, so definitely looking for anybody. Anybody can come down here, anybody that supports a veteran, knows a veteran, related to a veteran – we’re trying to help them," said Iowa Workforce Development Veterans Representative Danny Simonson.

Some of the services help veterans with things like utilities and rent, as well as homeless veterans.

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