Iowa employers have a new tool available to help them add military Veterans to their workforce.

Iowa Workforce Development recently was approved to become a third-party administrator for SkillBridge, a U.S. Department of Defense program that places military service members in civilian jobs for up to the last six months of their tours of duty.  The program was created to help transitioning service members gain the necessary civilian training to land in fruitful careers when they leave the armed services. 

For employers in Iowa and elsewhere, SkillBridge provides a very low-risk way of tapping into a pool of hard-working, mission-driven employees. The Defense Department continues to pay the salary and benefits for service people in the program, and employers are under no obligation to hire anyone.

“Veterans are a perfect match for our state’s work ethic and hardworking culture,” said Iowa Governor Kim Rynolds. “SkillBridge is another tool we can use to recruit those service members to Iowa and show them firsthand the opportunities that come with living and working in a state where you have the freedom to flourish.”

IWD’s new relationship to the program places Iowa in charge of approving the necessary training plans for the service members to learn their jobs. IWD also will be in a position to promote the program and work closely with Iowa employers who are getting started.

“Our goal is to significantly expand SkillBridge in Iowa by making it easier than ever for Iowa companies to take part in it,” said Beth Townsend, Executive Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “We want every Iowa employer to know about this program, how IWD can help them get started, and how they ultimately can find quality talent by hiring people who are leaving military service.”

For more information, read our news release and visit IWD’s SkillBridge website.

You also can view this recording of a November 17 Lunch & Learn webinar about SkillBridge in Iowa.