AmeriCorps Gets Much-Needed Boost in American Rescue Plan
Will increase the number of AmeriCorps members available to help communities impacted by COVID-19, increase equity in national service, and help prepare young people for future work
Washington, DC (March 10, 2021) – Following is a statement from AnnMaura Connolly, President of Voices for National Service, on the inclusion of $1 billion in the Fiscal Year 2021 Reconciliation Bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The investment will help to stabilize our existing national service programs, increase the benefits for those who serve, and deploy additional full and part-time members to support their communities’ response to COVID-19.
“Since the coronavirus outbreak, members of AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors have acted quickly and creatively to address gaps in services and persistent inequities that have only been worsened by the pandemic. CNCS has put nearly all of their available resources behind this crisis already, but to do more – and there is so much more to do – requires additional funding.
“The additional funding provides a triple bottom line: the opportunity to engage more Americans in pandemic relief efforts, such as helping schools safely reopen and tackling the growing hunger crisis; an important accelerator for increasing equity in national service; and a proven pathway help prepare young people prepare for future jobs, particularly for populations hardest hit by the pandemic.
“The economic value of this work is enormous. According to a July 2020 study, every $1 in federal money invested in national service programs returns $17.30 to society, program members, and the federal government. That means a $1 billion investment in national service would yield $17 billion in benefits in higher earnings, higher tax revenues, and lower strain on the social safety net.
“What’s more, AmeriCorps is a proven pathway that helps young people prepare for future jobs, particularly for populations hardest hit by the pandemic. Members gain valuable career skills and experience, from career training to occupational skills to network building. According to a survey of AmeriCorps alumni, eight out of ten say AmeriCorps advanced and benefited their career path.
“Voices for National Service is grateful to Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro, House Education and Labor Committee Chair Bobby Scott, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Patrick Leahy, Senate HELP Committee Chair Patty Murray, as well as President Biden, Senators Chris Coons and Roger Wicker, and Representatives David Price and Doris Matsui for championing this effort. In addition, we are looking forward to working with Congress and the White House to continue to expand and improve national service so that more Americans of every background have the opportunity to serve their communities.”
President Biden is expected to sign the bill expeditiously.
Voices for National Service is a diverse coalition of national service programs, state service commissions and individual champions, who work to ensure Americans of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to serve and volunteer in their community. Founded in 2003, Voices for National Service has built strong bipartisan support among our nation’s leaders and helped to elevate national service as a powerful strategy for tackling unmet needs, preparing young people for work, uniting our country and developing civic character.