The Iowa Workforce Development agency has established a toll-free hotline to answer questions from current and former soldiers who are considering Iowa as a home. Iowa Workforce Development director Teresa Wahlert says her agency can serve as a “connection point” between those soldiers and Iowa businesses that have job openings for them.

“Each person will be assigned a single point of contact to ensure a smooth transition,” Wahlert says.

It’s part of the new “Home Base Iowa” initiative announced this past week, to market the state to retiring soldiers.

“We have currently set up a special toll-free line for any current service member or their family or former (service member) if they want more information on the things that we can do to assist relocation, finding jobs, matching with their skill sets,” Wahlert says.

That number is 1-855-942-4692. Wahlert says a website for Home Base Iowa is not yet ready to go, but soldiers can email the State of Iowa using the [email protected] address to seek more information.

Beginning in January, Hilton Hotels will offer free lodging to full-time soldiers who’re making a trip to Iowa and interviewing for jobs here. Hampton Inns are part of Hilton’s roster of hotels, as are Hilton Garden Inns, Embassy Suites and Homewood Suites hotels. Hilton is offering this free lodging for soldiers on a job search in just three other states besides Iowa.