Veteran Employment Services

Iowa is committed to providing quality employment services to all veterans at our IowaWORKS Centers through Home Base Iowa, Iowa's one-of-a-kind program that connects veterans and transitioning service members to career opportunities. Submit your resume through the Home Base Iowa website to be connected to an IowaWORKS Center. Learn more about Home Base Iowa by reading this article written by SHAZAM, a Home Base Iowa business that is committed to hiring veterans.

To search for job opportunities in Iowa, visit the Iowa Workforce Development Veterans' Work in Iowa website. 

Veteran Representatives, who are all honorably discharged service members, coordinate all intensive services provided to eligible veterans within the IowaWORKS system. They work with eligible veterans and clients of Veterans Administration Vocational Rehabilitation to:

  • comprehensive assessments of skill levels;
  • development of an individual employment plan;
  • develop job interviewing and resume writing skills;
  • individual career planning services;
  • help place eligible veterans in federally-funded employment and training programs;
  • monitor job listings from federal agencies and federal contractors to ensure veterans get priority service in referral to these jobs; and
  • provide intensive services to meet the employment needs of eligible veterans.

These services provide veterans with the necessary information needed to find and secure suitable employment. These services can also help veterans make the transition from the military to the civilian workforce easier.

To qualify for services you must register with your local IowaWORKS Center and meet ONE of the following criterion:

  • a veteran who is receiving service-connected disability benefits from the VA or have a disability claim pending with the VA;
  • a Vietnam era veteran who served between Feb. 28, 1961, and May 7, 1975, in the Republic of Vietnam or between Aug. 5, 1964, and May 7, 1975, in all other cases;
  • currently homeless or at risk of becoming homeless;
  • has been incarcerated; 
  • a recently separated service member who has been unemployed for 27 or more weeks in the previous 12 months;
  • lacking a high school diploma or equivalent certificate; or
  • low-income as defined by WIOA;
  • aged 18-24;
  • a member of the Armed Forces who is wounded, ill or injured and receiving treatment in a military treatment facility or warrior transition or the spouse or other family caregiver of such an Armed Forces member.

NOTICE: On March 17, 2015, the 2015 Iowa General Assembly unanimously passed House File 414. This bill requires that private individuals or businesses offering to assist veterans to receive their benefits for a fee must give all prospective clients a written statement disclosing that veterans may apply for these same services at no charge through a local service organization or county veterans affairs offices. Before entering into an agreement or contract, the veteran must sign a veterans disclosures.​

Veteran Glossary Terms PDF

Veterans’ Preference and Federal Government Employment

Veterans' Preference gives eligible veterans who are applying for employment preference over many other applicants. It applies to virtually all new appointments in both the competitive and excepted service. Veterans' Preference does not guarantee veterans a job and it does not apply to internal agency actions such as promotions, transfers, reassignments, and reinstatements.

Veterans' Preference can be confusing. Not all veterans are considered veterans for the purpose of Federal civilian employment, and not all active duty service members qualify for Veterans' Preference. The law followed in Federal civilian employment can be found in title 5, US Code, Section 2108

Only veterans discharged or released from active duty in the armed forces under honorable conditions are eligible for Veterans' Preference. This includes either honorable or general discharge.

Employment with the State of Iowa, Public Works, Counties, Cities, and Schools

In all examinations and appointments under this chapter, veterans who are citizens and residents of the United States shall have five percentage points added to the veteran's grade or score attained in qualifying examinations for appointment to positions. Five additional percentage points are added to the grade or score if the veteran has a service-connected disability or is receiving compensation, disability benefits, or pension under laws administered by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Exclusions include promotions and appointments of chief of the police department and chief of the fire department.

An honorably discharged veteran who has been awarded the Purple Heart incurred in action shall be considered to have a service-connected disability. However, the percentage points shall be given only upon passing the exam and shall not be the determining factor in passing. Veterans' Preference percentage points shall be applied once to the final scores used to rank applicants for interview selection. For purposes of this section, veteran is defined in section 35.1 except the requirement for the person to be a resident of this state shall not apply.

There are basically two types of preference eligibility:

  • disabled (10-point preference eligible)
  • non-disabled (five-point preference eligible)

Priority of Service

Under the priority of service provisions of the Jobs for Veterans Act, a veteran who is eligible or spouse of an eligible veteran who is entitled to receive Priority of Service is a person who has served at least one day in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released from service under any condition other than a dishonorable discharge. This definition includes Reserve united and National Guard units activated for Federal Service. Veterans and eligible spouses have the right to take precedence in obtaining all employment and training services.

Depending on the type of service or resource being provided, taking precedence may mean:

  • the covered person receives access to the service or resource earlier in time than the non-covered person; or
  • if the service or resource is limited, the covered person receives access to the service or resource instead of or before the non-covered person.

Programs Providing Priority of Service to Veterans

  • Wagner-Peyser/Labor Exchange Program
  • ​Registered Apprenticeship
  • National Emergency Grants
  • Trade Adjustment Assistance
  • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Adult and Dislocated Worker Program which include:
    • Senior Community Service Employment Program
    • Indian and Native Americans Programs
    • The President’s Community - Based Job Training Grants 

Veterans and Apprenticeship

For eligible veterans, apprenticeships offer special opportunities. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has contracted with the Department of Education as Iowa’s State Approving Agency (SAA) to approve GI Bill programs. The function of the SAA is to inspect, approve, and supervise qualified educational programs, as well as on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs. Eligible individuals under the GI Bill may choose to learn by working on the job. The State's approval is necessary before veterans and other eligible persons can receive their GI Bill benefits. Work experience in the occupation can be counted toward the credits required for skilled worker status.

Fact Sheet for Veterans: GI Bill® Benefits for Apprenticeship Programs Veteran (PDF)

Registered Apprenticeship Sponsors Fact Sheet (PDF)

Veterans and Registered Apprenticeship

Benefits for Veterans in Registered Apprenticeship (PDF)

Iowa Department of Education Veterans and Military Education

Local Veteran Employment Representative

The Local Veteran Employment Representative (LVER) performs a wide range of duties on behalf of our veterans.  In addition to outreach to the employer community and facilitation within the state’s employment service delivery, the LVER:

  • promotes the advantages of hiring veterans to employers, employer associations, and business groups.
  • assists veterans in gaining employment, including conducting seminars for employers.
  • conducts job search workshops and establishes job search groups.
  • coordinates with unions, apprenticeship programs and businesses and organizations to promote and secure employment and training programs for veterans.
  • informs federal contractors on the process to recruit qualified veterans.
  • facilitates employment, training, and placement services.

Contact Information

Veterans Program Coordinator
Iowa Workforce Development
1000 E Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA  50319

Office Email:

Veterans Representative - Burlington
Veterans Representative - Cedar Rapids
Veterans Representative - Council Bluffs
Veterans Representative - Davenport
Veterans Representative - Des Moines
Veterans Representative - Dubuque 
Veterans Representative - Fort Dodge
Veterans Representative - Iowa City

Veterans Representative - Mason City
Veterans Representative - Ottumwa
Veterans Representative - Sioux City
Veterans Representative - Spencer
Veterans Representative – Waterloo