Economic Opportunity

  • Posted on Feb 27, 2014
    By Wendy Spencer

     

    During your life’s journey, I am sure that you can remember times when your path was made clearer or your baggage lighter because of someone who helped along the way. These thoughts came to mind today as President Obama outlined his plan to expand opportunity for boys and young men of color through the My Brother’s Keeper initiative and a new federal task force on which I am honored to serve.

    President Barack Obama signs a Presidential Memorandum for the My Brother's Keeper initiative at the White House on Feb. 27, 2014. Corporation for National and Community Service programs, including AmeriCorps and the Social Innovation Fund, will contribute solutions for the effort to expand opportunity for boys and young men of color.

    The ideas behind this initiative are part of the President’s pledge to make 2014 a “year of action” to ensure opportunity for all Americans, and I am excited about the chance to contribute to this important effort.

    We join President Obama in recognizing that far too many of our boys and young men of color face obstacles that prevent them from reaching their full potential. This is not just an issue that faces a small...

  • Posted on Feb 3, 2014
    By David B. Shapiro and Wendy Spencer

     

    Can a simple mentoring relationship rescue a life in peril? In a world with few easy solutions, there are innumerable stories -- and a new survey -- that demonstrate this could be possible. Let's start with one of these stories.
    Tags: Mentoring
  • Posted on Jan 31, 2014
    By Dorothy Stoneman

     

    Since 1994, over 23,000 YouthBuild AmeriCorps members have served their communities by building over 5,000 units of affordable housing for homeless and low income families in over 150 urban and rural communities. They gutted and rehabbed abandoned buildings that were blights on their neighborhoods, and built whole blocks of new affordable homes.
    Tags: YouthBuild
  • Posted on Jan 31, 2014
    By Greg Tucker

     

    When President Lyndon B. Johnson initiated the “War on Poverty” during his 1964 State of the Union address, he described one of the initiatives as “a National Service Corps to help the economically handicapped of our own country as the Peace Corps now helps those abroad.” By the end of that year, the first class of Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) was on its way to helping the poor in our nation’s most underserved areas.
  • Posted on Jan 10, 2014
    By Lamar Marchese

     

    “I am a guidance counselor and a teacher, den mother, referee, and confidant. I am a newspaper reporter, editor, and printer. I am a public relations man, chauffer, and pawn shop operator. I am also a scribe, medic, friend, buddy, and informer. I’m the low man on the totem pole, but the buck stops with me. I’m the middle man between Corpsman and staff, between staff and staff, and between Corpsmen and Corpsmen.”
  • Posted on Aug 26, 2013
    By Wendy Spencer

     

    To strengthen our communities, we have to break down the barriers that can discourage Americans from building a better life for themselves and their families. Whether these barriers to economic opportunity are structural or behavioral, change is possible, and our AmeriCorps VISTAs are leading the way by creating partnerships that support service as a solution to our nation's challenges.
  • Posted on Feb 27, 2013
    By Greg Tucker

     

    The IRS filing deadline is less than two months away, reviving a task that ranks somewhere near having a root canal for a lot of Americans. However, there are many national service members who are ready and willing to tackle the job, free of charge, through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Who says accountants should have all the fun?
  • Posted on Oct 10, 2012
    The following post was originally published on the Department of Labor's Work in Progress blog on October 1, 2012. Kathy Martinez serves as Assistant Secretary, Office of Disability Employment Policy at the agency.
  • Posted on Aug 30, 2012
    By David Smooke

     

    Since 1882, Americans have paused to observe Labor Day in a “yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” But before you enjoy a well-earned day off on September 3, consider giving a minute to help an unemployed or underemployed person find satisfying work and help transform the holiday into “Give Labor Day.”
  • Posted on Feb 14, 2012
    This Valentine's Day, volunteers across Montana are showing love for our veterans, mobilizing in an effort to help America's heroes prepare tax returns at several Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites around the state including Billings, Bozeman, and Helena.

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