Home Base Iowa Idea Lures Conley Group, Wells Fargo
Dec. 16, 2013 9:38 PM
|President Tom Conley Standing By One Of Conley Security's Emergency Vehicles|
A security firm and the Des Moines area’s largest private employer are the first companies to consider applying for Home Base Iowa Businesses designations, labeling them as employers with open positions for military veterans.
The Conley Group, an Urbandale security services provider, is pursuing the designation, and Wells Fargo is weighing such a move, said Jimmy Centers, a spokesman for the governor’s office.
The designation is part of Gov. Terry Branstad’s initiative to attract military veterans to Iowa and match them with jobs in the state.
To be designated as a Home Base Iowa Business, companies have to meet the following criteria:
• Pledge to hire a specific number of veterans by Dec. 31, 2018.
• Post their open job positions on the Home Base Iowa website.
• Become members of the Skilled Iowa program.
Tom Conley, president and CEO of the Conley Group, said his company has pledged to hire 25 veterans by the deadline, but he called that a “conservative estimate.” Conley said his company has 48 employees, about half of whom have prior military service.
Conley, who is also a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, said the designation would be a natural fit for the firm.
“Since we’re a veteran-owned, veteran-led Iowa business, as well as having a veteran preference, it just seemed like a perfect fit for us,” Conley said.
Veterans, Conley said, are often overlooked by employers because they do not possess the right technical skills. What they do offer, he said, are life skills, which can be more valuable to a company.
“The biggest skill set is what they’ve been through. Whether it’s combat or not combat, they’ve been through the basic training experience,” Conley said “They’ve gotten rid of their childhood fears and shown that they can operate under pressure.”
San Francisco-based Wells Fargo is also looking into the designation but has yet to officially apply, spokeswoman Angie Kaipust said.
“Hiring and retaining veterans is a major focus for us, which is why we think it’s important to look into this program,” she said.
Branstad launched the initiative last month and said Iowa could potentially attract “tens of thousands” of military members who will be leaving service during the next few years.