– The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host an event designed to highlight the success and benefits of the Veterans Curation Program
at its Augusta laboratory on Washington Road, Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Col. Thomas Tickner, Corps’ Savannah District commander, will provide remarks at the event at 10:30 a.m. The event is open to the public.
The Veterans Curation Program provides employment and job training for veterans of the American military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan using archaeological collections administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Veterans working at the Augusta lab are being trained in computer database and records management, the use of photography and scanning technologies, various computer software proficiencies and interpersonal skills. Veterans also have numerous opportunities to develop their résumés and network with prospective employers. As of May this year 64 percent of the veterans who used this program have obtained permanent employment as a result of the training and experience provided.
Currently, eight U.S. Army and Air Force veterans are employed as archaeological technicians at the Augusta laboratory. The technicians will discuss with visitors the skills they have gained at the VCP that have helped them prepare for a career in the civilian workforce.
"President Obama called for a new Veterans Job Corps initiative to help our returning veterans find pathways to civilian employment," said Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, at the Alexandria, Va., VCP Open House May 1, 2012. "This is an incredible program that I talk up every chance I get. It finds a positive and innovative way to put our returning veterans and disabled veterans to work, while protecting and caring for our nation’s archaeological materials and associated records."
The Augusta laboratory is one of three VCP labs funded and operated by the St. Louis District Army Corps of Engineers. Other labs are located in St. Louis, Mo., and Alexandria, Va. The Augusta lab is managed by New South Associates, Inc., of Stone Mountain, Ga.
One veteran from Augusta offered his personal insight. "The program is helping transform my military way of thinking to the civilian way of thinking," said Mike Mullin, veteran and technician. "It gives me another frame of reference to think about than just using military terminology."
A two-minute video
is available that provides details on how this program is changing the lives of veterans. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xA5gWPORaQ