Press Release: Given the vital role veterans play in advancing the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) mission, Secretary Napolitano set a goal to have 50,000 veterans employed at DHS by the end of 2012. Through a Department-wide effort, Secretary Napolitano announced that this goal was met in FY 2011, more than a year ahead of schedule.
Secretary Napolitano also announced that this year, DHS spent more than $1.4 billion with veteran owned small businesses, and surpassed the Small Business Administration’s target of spending 3 percent of all contracting dollars with service disabled veteran owned businesses.
Recognizing the invaluable sacrifices that veterans make for their country, DHS has developed three strategic objectives to engage veterans in fulfilling our Department’s missions:
a) increasing veteran employment opportunities
b) expanding contracting opportunities for veteran-owned businesses, and
c) enhancing veteran engagement within the Department.
As of the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011, more than 50,000 veterans were employed at DHS.
Veterans now comprise 25 percent of all DHS civilian employees, in addition to the 49,000 active duty and reserve members of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Veterans serve across components in support of our full range of mission areas, as Transportation Security Officers, Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, Federal Protective Service officers, and throughout headquarters. Many of our Department’s leaders are veterans including Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute and Under Secretary Rand Beers.
DHS participates in special veteran programs — including Operation Warfighter and the Wounded Warrior Program — to recruit and hire veterans, and help disabled veterans gain skills and transition to civilian work.
Contracting with Veteran Owned Businesses
For the second year in a row, DHS met Secretary Napolitano’s goal of doing a billion dollars of business with veteran owned businesses, awarding more than $1.4 billion in contracts to veteran owned businesses in fiscal year 2011.
In addition, approximately 4 percent of total contracting dollars in fiscal year 2011 went to service disabled veteran owned small businesses (SDVOSB) — exceeding the Small Business Administration’s 3 percent target.
One way DHS is expanding these contracting opportunities is through use of the Program Management, Administrative Clerical and Technical Services (PACTS). Drawing on the services of 27 SDVOSBs, the PACTS program streamlines the procurement process and allows prescreened and preapproved SDVOSB companies to support the Department.
Engaging with Veterans
Veterans are engaged in initiatives and programming throughout the Department, including FEMA’s Citizen Corps, the “If You See Something, Say Something™” Campaign, and the Stop.Think.Connect.™ Campaign.
DHS meets regularly with Veteran Service Organizations and Military Service Organizations to share information about how veterans can find jobs and contracting opportunities at DHS and get involved in community-based efforts.
DHS recently hosted representatives from Veteran Service Organizations at DHS for a Day to provide a tour of DHS operations and discuss the Department’s efforts to engage veterans across our mission areas.