Today, the Homeland Security Foundation of America (HSFA) announced a new program to help veterans transition from military service to the civilian workforce. The organization’s Veteran Engaged Technology (VET) program offers a certification track for veterans (or their spouses) with technology skills to receive civilian workforce integration training, access to private mental health screenings and care, and other resources to help them succeed in the workforce.
“This year, we’ll see a surge in the number of service members transitioning from the military,” said Eric Brown, President, HSFA. “National unemployment rates have declined, but we still expect nearly half of transitioning service members to experience unemployment this year. Partnering with companies, agencies and organizations, who have a strong commitment to hiring, engaging and retaining veterans allows us to give transitioning service members access to valuable resources through our certification program and actually have a job waiting for them on the other side.”
HSFA leadership says Veteran Engaged Technology is any technology company, project, program, provider, product or service that earns the VET Certification Mark through adherence to program guidelines and procedures. VET program inputs include companies’ available technology jobs, requirements, and their commitment to proactively hire, engage and retain HSFA Vet certified candidates. The VET program offers mental health self-assessments through HSFA’s partnership with Screening for Mental Health and utilizes the Overcomers Roadmap, a support group program based on peer interaction and sharing. To earn a VET certification, candidates complete 25 hours of volunteer service supporting the VET program, and the course, VeteranForce: Translating Military Experience and Skills to Civilian Equivalents, which equips veterans with the skills and resources they need to successfully integrate into the civilian workforce.
Brown went on to say, “In addition to connecting veterans or their spouses with technology skills together with organizations that have a commitment or contractual requirement to engage veterans, we’re building a service delivery network supported by veteran, minority and woman owned businesses. We’re not just putting veterans to work, HSFA is connecting people all over the country, who want to honor our veterans by helping them succeed here at home in 2016 and years to come.”
The VET program offers veterans ongoing specialized support that continues to help them succeed even after they’ve graduated and been hired by a partner company. HSFA officials say they’re actively working to partner with companies like Northrop Grumman, a leading global security company with more than 65,000 employees. Northrop recently won the United States Air Force (USAF) Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) contract, which is expected to top $55 billion over the life of the program, and is the largest military aircraft contract since Lockheed Martin won the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) more than a decade ago. HSFA plans to partner with other companies like Northrop and Lockheed and is currently pursing sponsorship from companies like AT&T and USAA and requesting donations from charitable organizations and the general public to support the VET program.
Proponents of HSFA’s VET program believe this proactive, aggressive approach to fighting veteran unemployment will lead to more technology projects completed leveraging the discipline and abilities of our veterans and their spouses while helping improve partner companies’ reputation, exposure and public image.
HSFA plans to deploy certified VET Field Offices in every major city in the U.S. to ensure services are available to veterans in their local area. Veteran, minority and woman owned businesses that successfully complete the required VET Field Office certification are encouraged to respond to an upcoming Request for Proposal (RFP), scheduled to be released May 9, 2016. For more information on the VET Program, visit https://www.hsfamerica.org/vet.
The Homeland Security Foundation of America is an agency organized and certified as public, tax-exempt under IRC 501(c)(3) with 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) status. HSFA is not a government agency. For the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), visit www.dhs.gov.