WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) today announced that West Virginia has received more than $5.8 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency for volunteering and service programs.
“I have often said that West Virginia is like one big small town where our people come together to help one another in times of need,” said Senator Capito. “These AmeriCorps grants are incredibly important to help expand this West Virginia philosophy and improve our communities by promoting volunteer service across our state. I look forward to seeing first-hand the positive impact AmeriCorps members have on our students, families and small towns as a result of this generous funding.”
“In West Virginia, we have a long tradition of neighbors helping neighbors, giving back to our communities and contributing our time and service to improve the places that we live for our children and for future generations,” Senator Manchin said. “The value of national service can never be overstated. It is an important part of our identity as West Virginians and Americans. I am pleased that AmeriCorps members and organizations throughout our state will be receiving resources to ensure that community service continues to improve families and communities in our state.”
“Volunteers are at the heart of our state’s communities, and AmeriCorps members are a valuable resource for West Virginians across the state,” Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said. “Volunteerism is an essential part of solving many of the challenges we face as a state and a nation, and AmeriCorps helps to unite communities to support a common goal. I’m grateful for the many West Virginians and those around the country who have answered the call to serve one another through AmeriCorps.”
“For more than 20 years, AmeriCorps members have had a positive and lasting impact on the toughest challenges facing our nation,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Building on West Virginia’s strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor, AmeriCorps members will improve lives and strengthen communities across West Virginia. While they serve others, AmeriCorps members will also expand opportunity for themselves - gaining skills and experience to jumpstart their careers. I salute every AmeriCorps member for his or her dedication and determination to ‘get things done’ and respond to the needs in their communities.”
CNCS and Volunteer West Virginia, the Governor-appointed state service commission, have awarded 13 AmeriCorps grants to West Virginia nonprofits totaling $3.9 million, which will support 883 AmeriCorps members. AmeriCorps members will tackle some of the toughest problems in West Virginia including mentoring and tutoring at-risk youth, facilitating access to healthy foods, building trails and cleaning up parks, and more.
CNCS will also provide up to $1.9 million in education scholarships for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants to help pay for college, vocational training, or pay back student loans. The federal investment is projected to generate an additional $3.4 million in local support to increase community impact and return on federal investment.
The current year’s AmeriCorps grant cycle was highly competitive, due to the strong demand by organizations seeking AmeriCorps resources. The 2016 competition prioritized investments in economic opportunity, education, veterans and military families, disaster services, and continued a new initiative for governors and mayors.
Below is a listing of 2016 competitive AmeriCorps grants in West Virginia:
In addition to the four competitive grants, Volunteer West Virginia, the Governor-appointed state service commission, will be making the following eight grants through formula funding provided by CNCS:
In addition, Energy Express will receive funding to engage 80 teen volunteers ages 14-17 to serve as Summer Opportunity AmeriCorps members. These members will provide leadership and support to other teen and pre-teen volunteers and help carry out the summer reading and feeding program at sites across West Virginia.
AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 members in intensive service annually to serve through nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations at 21,000 locations across the country. These members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve.
Over the past two decades, more than 980,000 Americans have served in AmeriCorps providing more than 1.3 billion hours of service, and earning more than $3.1 billion in education scholarships. Later this year, the one millionth AmeriCorps member will take the AmeriCorps pledge, committing to ‘get things done’ for America.