Voices for National Service Endorses Bipartisan CORPS Act
Bill would expand AmeriCorps to help communities recover from COVID-19, help young people pay for college and create pathways for future employment
Washington, DC (April 15, 2021) – Voices for National Service, a diverse coalition of national service programs, state service commissions and individual champions, today announced its strong support for The Cultivating Opportunity and Response to the Pandemic through Service (CORPS) Act, which was introduced in the U.S. Senate today by Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), along with 15 of their colleagues.
“The CORPS Act demonstrates the strong bipartisan support in Congress for investing in the nimble and effective national service infrastructure that has been deploying citizens of every background in service to their communities for decades,” said AnnMaura Connolly, President of Voices for National Service. “In addition to expanding AmeriCorps and strengthening AmeriCorps Seniors to help communities respond to and recover from COVID-19, the CORPS Act will give young people experience, skills, a living stipend, and post-service education scholarship to help pay for college.”
“The need to expand national service could not be greater. During this once in a lifetime pandemic, people are eager to get to work to help their communities and our nation. Let’s put more boots on the ground, while at the same time providing young people from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to pay for college and create pathways for future employment.”
Over a three-year COVID recovery period, the CORPS Act would expand and strengthen AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors, our nation’s preeminent national service programs, to help communities respond to and recover from the impacts of COVID-19, increase AmeriCorps member benefits to make service more accessible and inclusive, and prioritize expanding programs to support communities that are underserved and disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Details on the legislation can be found here.
In addition to Sens. Coons and Wicker, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Angus King (I-Maine), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), and Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.).
Added Connolly, “The Voices for National Service community is deeply grateful to Senator Coons, Senator Wicker and their colleagues for their leadership and bold vision for the vital role that national service can play in helping our communities at this critical moment in our nation’s history. We look forward to continuing to work with them, as we have over many Congresses, to strengthen and expand national service.”
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.