Federal Contract Preferences for Companies that Hire Vets?

A federal task force has raised the idea of offering special privileges to government contractors with a certain percentage of employees who are veterans.

The new type of business would have privileges similar to those afforded to small businesses in Historically Underutilized Business Zones, or HUBZones (federally designated economically depressed areas). To be eligible for set-aside contracts, HUBZone small business must have 35 percent of its total workforce living in the zone (and agencies have annual goals for awarding them contracts).

The task force said the government could apply that same principle for companies whose total workforce is comprised of at least 35 percent or more of veterans, including guard and reserve members.

President Obama signed an executive order in 2010 to establish the task force with an intent to help veterans in the government marketplace. He also announced the new Interagency Task Force on Federal Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses, which will take a broader look at small-business contracting.