Veterans Appreciation Fair

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MASON CITY, Iowa – Often times our veterans are forgotten after coming home from serving. It can be difficult for them to find jobs, proper health care and a place to live. But a local organization is providing them with resources to help.

The 1st Veterans Appreciation Fair was hosted by Iowa Works and the Mason City YMCA.

It’s an effort to connect veterans with the services and resources they need.

“We’ll it’s information that’s available that we don’t normally get without the running around and then you don’t know who to go, so if you come here everything is available at one spot get it all,” Larry Reynolds, Airforce Veteran.

Jason Kemp served our country.

He’s now the manager of Home Base Iowa and spoke to other veterans about opportunities available to them.

“And with the Home Base Iowa Program it’s really a one stop shop to kind of find job opportunities, wonderful research within the community, hire education and learning opportunities all on our website,” says Kemp.

Health screenings, haircuts and resume building are just some of the services being offered.

“Retirement, program on disabilities, how I could increase my retirement benefits and I got my flu shot,’ says Reynolds.

“They’re happy to have such a large stage for an event of this capacity to just really bring people together,” says Cait Hamilton, Director of Development at Mason City YMCA.

And though there are still many veterans who need jobs, progress is being made.

“Iowa has a critical shortage of semi-skilled workers and skilled workers, so we have over 14,000 businesses that have placed over 7,000 jobs over the next 3 to 5 years,” says Kemp.

Over 30 veterans were in attendance at the fair.

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