Iowa designated as an “All Vet State”

As a part of an effort to make Iowa home for the nation’s returning veterans, Governor Terry Branstad announced a special designation today.

Iowa is now among 3 states to be named an AllVetState by a program called Hiring our Heroes.

KIMT News 3 caught up with a military member living and working in north Iowa to get his take on the state’s efforts to attract military members.

Not only is Jensen Cartagena a manufacturing engineer at Winnebago Industries.

“I’m the middle man between the manufacturing line and the design department.”

He’s also a platoon leader in the Iowa Army National Guard.

“In the military they always push attention to detail it’s one of the critical things you have to learn as a soldier,” says Cartagena.

He says his military training and experience leading troops has prepared him for his current job at Winnebago.

“My commanders talk to me and then I as a platoon leader communicate to my soldiers what they need to get done just in a very similar concept as it happens here very similar concept as it happens here at Winnebago Industries.”

The company is one of Iowa’s largest employers and has been recognized by the American Legion for its support of its employees serving in the military.

“They’ve given a huge sacrifice for those of us in Iowa and the whole country and it’s a good way to pay that back a little bit,” says Winnebago Personnel Administrator, Susan Gardner.

That’s the mentality supported by the AllVetState initiative.

The goal is to showcase the state’s benefits and opportunities that are important to veterans and their families; like supportive careers.

And it’s all in hopes of influencing service members’ decisions to call Iowa home.

“I think it’s a pretty important that it happens with our soldiers that we take initiative as a society to help our soldiers in the re-integration process,” adds Cartagena.

The designation comes on the heels of the governor’s announcement of the Home Base Iowa program.

It’s founded to serve as a source of job services and information about Iowa for veterans.

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