Davis, Napolitano Praise House Passage of Veterans Hiring Initiative
U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Grace F. Napolitano (D-Calif.) today announced their bill to permanently authorize the Army Corps of Engineers’ Veterans Curation Program (VCP), including the St. Louis program, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 422 to 3.
"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 my colleagues' support for this important program."
“Thank you to all of our colleagues in helping us make permanent this worthwhile program by passing this legislation for our veterans,” said Napolitano. “Congressman Davis and I are grateful for this chance to provide our veterans with job training assistance, leading to healing and helping them and their families re-integrate to become more productive. We urge the Senate to work quickly and pass it, so the President may sign it immediately into law.”
"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, the Army Corps of Engineers Veterans Curation Program Act, permanently authorizes funds for the Corps to hire veterans—some disabled—to carry out these responsibilities. The VCP 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, DC, and St. Louis, MO, providing veterans with a 5-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.