Davis, Napolitano Bill to Authorize Army Corps of Engineers’ Veterans Hiring Initiative Passes Committee
Includes Veterans Curation Program in St. Louis
U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Grace F. Napolitano (D-Calif.), members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, today announced that their legislation to authorize the Army Corps of Engineers’ Veterans Curation Program (VCP) passed unanimously during a full committee markup.
"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," said Davis. "I've seen firsthand the positive impact this program can have in a veteran's life and the great work they've done in the St. Louis area restoring important historical photographs and documents. I appreciate the committee's quick action on this bill and the bipartisan support from my colleagues today."
“We appreciate the Committee’s leadership, moving forward on this legislation to put our nation’s veterans first,” said Napolitano. “Our brave men and women have served us honorably, are our nation’s best workers and individuals, and must be our nation’s top priority in hiring decisions. H.R. 3114 offers one more way veterans can gain critical job skills with additional training, while assisting the Corps’ management of their archeological and historical collections. Congressman Davis and I are proud to sponsor this legislation, and we ask all of our colleagues to join us in support of our nation’s vets.”
"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 would authorize the VCP, which trains and utilizes veterans in carrying out the Corps’ curatorial responsibilities. Created in 2009, the VCP protects and preserves the Nation’s cultural and archeological resources with curatorial services according to professional museum and archival practices. Currently, there are VCP laboratories located in Augusta, GA, Washington, DC, and St. Louis, MO, providing veterans with a 5-month program of training and employment in curatorial services. Of the 203 graduates of the program to date, 87 percent have gone on to either permanent employment—in museums, forensics, administrative, and records management—or to continuing education. The VCP is providing long-term savings to the Corps through more efficient and effective management of their archeological and historical collections, making this historical collection readily available to the American public.
H.R. 3114, the Army Corps of Engineers Veterans Curation Program Act, passed the Transportation Committee unanimously and has been placed on the House Calendar for consideration by the full House of Representatives. Ranking Member Napolitano and Davis sit on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, which has oversight of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.