Barrow Introduces Veterans Job Training, Artifact Curation Bill
Congressman John Barrow (GA-12) announced at a press conference in Augusta today that he has introduced legislation that will support the Veterans Curation Project, part of which is located in Augusta. Barrow's bill, H.R. 5282, has the support of the CSRA Wounded Warrior Care Project.
"Our commitment to veterans' health, safety, and livelihood must not end when they return home to our shores," said Barrow. "This is something I take very seriously, and it's why I've been so involved in veterans' issues since coming to Congress."
H.R. 5282 will authorize funding for the Army Corps of Engineers Veterans Curation Project. The project was originally funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. It was launched in Augusta, and hires veterans to curate artifacts that have been dug up by the Army Corps of Engineers and need to be catalogued. In the process, they learn valuable technical skills in computer, photographic, and scanning technology.
Currently, the Veterans Curation Project employs 50 veterans per year in Augusta, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C, but the funding is set to run out. This bill would make funding for the project permanent, would increase the funding available, and would allow the program to double in size.
"The Veterans Curation Project focuses on education and training and employs veterans, giving them valuable skills and making them competitive in the civilian workforce. It also provides veterans with the camaraderie and sense of purpose that helps them heal," said Laurie Ott, executive director of the Wounded Warrior Care Project. "We are very excited to have this kind of support from Congressman Barrow. This kind of partnership helps our troops reintegrate back into our community after their service has ended, and the fact that it could be expanded is a tremendous help to allow us to reach even more veterans here."
"This project is an absolute win-win and needs to be supported," added Barrow. "The Corps needs to catalogue these artifacts, and who better to hire than our men and women returning home from war? This will also help them learn valuable skills to find more permanent jobs."