WASHINGTON, D.C. – Legislation to permanently authorize the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Veterans Curation Program, including the St. Louis program, was signed into law by President Obama, according to a joint announcement Monday from U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis, R-Illinois, and Grace F. Napolitano, D-Calif.
The congressmen’s bill, H.R. 3114, the Army Corps of Engineers Veterans Curation Program Act, overwhelmingly passed the House in November.
“This bipartisan legislation is great example of how Democrats and Republicans can and do work together to pass important legislation,” said Davis. “The Veterans Curation Programs throughout the country, including the program near my district in St. Louis, have helped more than 200 veterans build on the skills and training they’ve received in the military and transition to a new career here at home.”
“The St. Louis District is proud to manage the Veterans Curation Program,” said David Busse, St. Louis District Chief of the Engineering and Construction Branch. “The program has employed and training 241 veterans across the nation. The St. Louis lab has employed 74 of those men and women, many of whom have gone on to secure jobs at the National Archives and Records Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and here in the St. Louis District. The vital work that these men and women have done in the program has helped to preserve 135 archaeological collections from the surrounding area. This work is helping the Corps preserve our nations heritage.”
H.R. 3114 permanently authorizes funds for the Corps to hire veterans — some disabled — to carry out these responsibilities. The Curation Program preserves the nation’s cultural and archeological resources with curatorial services according to professional museum and archival practices, preparing our veterans for employment in these areas.
Currently, there are VCP laboratories in Augusta, GA, Washington, D.C., and St. Louis, providing veterans with a five-month program of training and employment in curatorial services. 241 veterans have gone through the program, and currently there is a class of 38 veterans. As a direct result of this program, 139 veterans have obtained permanent employment, and 39 have continued their education, either at colleges, universities, or in certificated programs. The VCP is providing long-term savings to the Corps, and to our nation, through more efficient and effective management of their archeological and historical collections, making this historical collection readily available to the American public.
— From the Illinois Business Journal