Notice to All FY2013 Safer Hiring Grant Applicants Regarding Safer Veterans Hiring Program

Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) GrantsRegardless of the status of your SAFER Hiring grant application, we would like to provide additional information about the SAFER Veterans Hiring Program. As FY2013 SAFER award announcements are made, grantees will be sent specific information about how to request additional funds for SAFER Veteran hires and the documentation required. If your department receives notice of a FY2013 SAFER award, you should anticipate receiving a separate e-mail message with this information within a week.

The FY2013 SAFER grant program has set aside $20 million for the Veterans Hiring Program which provides successful FY2013 SAFER grant program awardees with the opportunity to request additional Hiring Grant funds should they recruit and hire military veterans to fill the SAFER-funded positions. All successful awardees of grants to hire new firefighters, or fill positions vacated through attrition or rehire laid-off firefighters will have the option to submit an amendment request to extend SAFER funding from two to three years for those positions being filled by military veterans.

For example, if an application is approved for 50 new hire positions and 10 of the positions are being filled by military veterans, the applicant may request extending funding (salary and benefits) for those 10 positions from two to three years. In conjunction with the additional funding, the period of performance of the grant will be extended for the number of SAFER-funded positions being filled by military veterans.

The deadline to submit a FY2013 SAFER Veterans Hiring Program amendment request is June 1, 2014; however, funding is limited, and requests will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Below are answers to some basic questions about the SAFER Veterans Hiring Program

How is the SAFER Veterans Hiring Program defining a “veteran”?

Under this program, a military veteran is defined as an individual who has served on active duty at any time in the armed forces for a period of more than 180 consecutive days, and who has been discharged or released from active duty in the armed forces under honorable conditions.

Are successful FY2013 SAFER grantees that were awarded funds to retain firefighters facing imminent layoffs eligible to participate in the Veterans Hiring Program?

No. The objective of the Veterans Hiring Program is to encourage successful applicants to recruit and hire military veterans to become new firefighters.

Can I use SAFER grant funds to hire personnel for additional firefighter positions (in addition to what was included in my FY2013 award) if the positions are being filled by military veterans?

No. The number of positions being funded by the SAFER grant cannot be increased from the original application.

Who should I contact if I have questions on the FY2013 SAFER Veterans Hiring Program?

Contact the AFG Program Help Desk with questions or comments by calling 866-274-0960 or email at [email protected].

What happens after the grant concludes? Do I have to keep the SAFER-funded firefighters employed?

Awarded recipients do not have any obligation to retain the SAFER-funded firefighters after the conclusion of the period of performance for FY2013 SAFER awards.

Veteran Recruitment and Hiring

Many veteran resources and job search websites offer employment information. While this is not an exhaustive list, below are a few suggestions that offer fire departments information on hiring veterans.

VetSuccess: Department of Veteran Affairs

VetSuccess assists employers with information about workplace accommodations, best practices for employment success, and resources to hire veterans. It also provides employers an opportunity to post jobs targeting military veterans. For more information, please visit their website at www.vetsuccess.gov.

Career One Stop Centers- Department of Labor

The Department of Labor Career One-Stop Centers, a partner of the American Job Center Network, offers the Gold Card to unemployed post-9/11 era veterans that include intensive one-on-one and follow-up employment services needed to succeed in today’s job market. For more information about posting job descriptions and employer resources, please contact the One-Stop Career Centers at 877-US2-JOBS (877-872-5627) or visit their website at www.careeronestop.org.

Career Fairs

While there are many job search websites devoted to connecting military veterans with employment, organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes initiative and the Department of Veteran Affairs VA for Vets program host career fairs around the country. Whether you are looking to hire veterans to fill one or more positions, career fairs provide the opportunity to meet face to face with candidates and conduct on-the-spot interviews.

iHeartRadio’s Show Your Stripes

Show Your Stripes is a media campaign to assist veterans transition into the civilian job market by providing one location for valuable employment resources. For more information, please visit their website at www.showyourstripes.org

SAFER Grants Help Desk

If you have any questions about the FY2013 Veterans Hiring Program, call or e-mail the SAFER Grants Help Desk. The toll-free number is 866-274-0960, and the e-mail address is [email protected]