WASHINGTON — The St. Louis District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has awarded the 8(a) Cogstone-Berger joint venture an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract focused on skills development for post 9/11 U.S. veterans. The joint venture is composed of Cogstone Resource Management, Inc. (Cogstone), an 8(a) firm, and Louis Berger.

Veterans sitting at table in archaeological training lab examine artifacts.
Veterans receive archaeological examination and documentation training in the Veterans Curation Program lab in St. Louis, Missouri.

The Cogstone-Berger JV will employ, supervise, train and mentor veterans entering the Veterans Curation Program, which helps veterans gain skills and experience to transition into the civilian workforce through work in one of three archaeological laboratories using USACE archaeological collections. Training labs — which are located in St. Louis, Missouri; Alexandria, Virginia; and Augusta, Georgia — hosted a kickoff event this month, during which the JV formally assumed supervision for them. Two classes of veterans will participate in consecutive five-month sessions at each lab over the course of a year.

“We’re excited to work with Cogstone and give veterans a springboard for jobs in the marketplace,” said Hope Luhman, Louis Berger’s vice president for cultural resource management. “While the participants’ next job is likely not in archaeology or paleontology, the Veterans Curation Program equips them with skills for job opportunities they might not otherwise be able to access.”

As part of their training, veterans will work alongside a team of archaeologists and archivists examining artifacts needing rehabilitation and preparation for long-term storage and their associated documentation.  Veterans can acquire skills in computer database management, records management, photographic and scanning technologies, and writing skills, as well as assistance in personal growth and development.

“This program helps our returning warriors transition to the civilian workplace.  It provides training in both archaeological and records management skills and assistance with resume building, while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers simultaneously addresses their responsibilities for curating their collections,” said Sherri Gust, principal, Cogstone. “We’re proud to partner with Louis Berger to help make a difference in the lives of those who have served our country.”

This IDIQ win is Cogstone and Louis Berger’s first under the Small Business Administration’s 8(a) Business Development Mentor-Protégé Program — an initiative that pairs successful firms with small businesses needing business development assistance to help them compete in the marketplace, achieve entrepreneurial success, and contribute to the U.S. economy.

Louis Berger announced last year its partnership with Cogstone under the mentorship program and provides training advice, support and assistance in key technical and developmental areas to enrich and grow Cogstone’s capabilities, and operations and contract opportunities.

About Louis Berger
Louis Berger is a $1 billion global professional services corporation that helps infrastructure and development clients solve their most complex challenges. We are a trusted partner to national, state and local government agencies; multilateral institutions; and commercial industry clients worldwide. By focusing on client needs to deliver quality, safe, financially successful projects with integrity, we are committed to deliver on our promise to provide Solutions for a better world.

Louis Berger operates on every habitable continent. We have a long-standing presence in more than 50 nations, represented by the multidisciplinary expertise of 6,000 engineers, economists, scientists, managers and planners.

About Cogstone Resource Management, Inc. | Certified 8(a), Small Disadvantaged Business (SDG) and Economically Disadvantaged Woman-owned Small Business (EDWOSB)
Established in 2001, Cogstone specializes in paleontological, archaeological and historical resources projects. Cogstone provides services for multiple sectors, including transportation, energy, renewable energy, bridges, schools, residential and commercial development, landfills, mining, pipelines, telecommunications, water and infrastructure. The company continues to impact the marketplace with its innovative solutions, customer satisfaction and value-delivered services.  Cogstone was ranked in the top 100 fastest growing companies in 2014.