As the federal agency for service and volunteering, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is deeply committed to expanding opportunities for Americans to serve their country. Every AmeriCorps program leverages significant outside resources to operate their program. We are always looking for new partners from the private sector, nonprofits, higher education, or state and local government to expand opportunities for Americans to serve. With decades of experience, thousands of partners, and a proven record of impact and accountability, AmeriCorps is a tested model that continues to expand.
Expanding National Service
On April 19, 2009, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act was signed, reauthorizing and expanding national service programs administered by CNCS. Its swift bipartisan journey through Congress reflected a national consensus that service is a powerful solution to our nation’s toughest challenges. Using the authority from the Serve America Act, it is able to create innovative public-private partnerships that utilize national service as a strategy to tackling these issues and creating new opportunities to serve.
To accelerate existing efforts and open the door to new partnerships, CNCS helped create the Task Force on Expanding National Service on July 15, 2013. Chaired by the CEO of CNCS, and 13 representatives from cabinet departments, the Task Force was charged with developing strategies to expand national service in collaboration with other Federal agencies and the private sector. It aimed to expand opportunities for Americans to serve, to focus service on our nation’s toughest challenges, and to increase the impact citizens have on our communities and nation.
Among other activities, the Task Force aimed to make recommendations on policies to expand national service opportunities; recommend ways to coordinate volunteering and service programs across the Federal government; develop opportunities for interagency agreements between CNCS and other federal agencies; and identify public-private partnerships to expand national service.
By creating new interagency and public-private partnerships for national service, the Task Force was designed to engage more Americans in results-driven service; expand economic and educational opportunities for those who serve; enhance Federal agencies’ capacity to achieve their missions and more efficiently used tax dollars; and build the pipeline of Americans ready to enter public service.
Through national service partnerships inspired by public-private partnerships and the Task Force, CNCS leveraged more than $194 million dollars in external funds to support more than 10,000 new AmeriCorps members.
Among other achievements, CNCS:
- Launched the AmeriCorps Partnerships Challenge, making available $30 million in Education Awards and supporting 8,000 new members.
- Piloted a creative new stream of service, called AmeriCorps Affiliate, offering 100 hour service terms, and youth, as young as 14, the opportunity to serve.
- Created Resilience AmeriCorps, with support from 4 private and public sector partners, and more than 5 non-profit organizations, committing to more than 120 AmeriCorps member positions in more than 80 communities within the first year.
- In the 2015, 2016 and 2017 fiscal years, invested roughly $32 million in new partnerships supporting STEM efforts to inspire young people to excel in science, technology, engineering, and math.
Together, these efforts contribute to our core mission of expanding national service and addressing critically unmet community needs.
Since the creation of the Task Force on Expanding National Service, CNCS has worked with a number of federal and private sector partners to launch new AmeriCorps service opportunities that address critical challenges.
There are more than 10,000 AmeriCorps programs across the country. Many serve veterans, and even more recruit veterans as service leaders. AmeriCorps proudly recruits veterans because of the leadership, determination, and sense of duty they bring to service; employers hire AmeriCorps members for exactly the same reasons.
Summer Opportunity AmeriCorps
An AmeriCorps Affiliate pilot program that builds on existing national service programs that address the summer opportunity gap. This program helps young people, including high school students, who serve their communities earn money for college. For more information, click here.
STEM Ecosystems AmeriCorps
Through this program, AmeriCorps VISTA members are placed in communities across the country to support the STEM Ecosystems Initiative, which seeks to nurture and scale effective STEM learning opportunities for all young people. AmeriCorps VISTA expands local partnerships, coordinates community-led STEM activities, creates training curriculum, and recruits and manages volunteers, including STEM professionals as mentors. For more information, click here.
Google Code Corps
Through Google’s CS First Program, AmeriCorps VISTA members are providing enhanced computer science programming for underserved communities and youth around the country. Activities include designing Computer Literacy classes for parents, training elementary school teachers on the CS First curriculum, increasing accessibility to events like hackathons, and developing CS First Clubs at schools. For more information, click here.
Rural IMPACT Demonstration
This partnership between CNCS and the Department of Justice enrolls approximately lawyers and paralegals as AmeriCorps members to provide legal services to the most vulnerable of the unaccompanied immigrant children crossing the border without a parent or guardian. For more information, click here.
As part of a three-year project to help low-income youth develop the skills they need to prepare for college and careers, AmeriCorps members engage youth, ages 16-24, in a volunteer response effort in this collaboration between AmeriCorps, Points of Light, and the Citi Foundation. For more information, click here.
Youth Opportunity AmeriCorps
CNCS and the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention invested up to $10 million over three years to create Youth Opportunity AmeriCorps, a program to enroll disconnected youth in national service programs. For more information, click here.
U.S. Forest Service AmeriCorps Partnership
USDA and CNCS joined together in a landmark partnership to engage more than 300 AmeriCorps members and other youth in gaining valuable career skills and experience while restoring the nation’s forests and grasslands. For more information, click here.
Aspire Mentoring Academy Corps
AT&T teamed up with AmeriCorps and MENTOR to launch a new program to engage AmeriCorps members in regions around the country and engage thousands of at-risk youth in mentoring activities. For more information, click here.
U.S. Department of Transportation Partnership
The U.S. Department of Transportation and CNCS collaborated on an effort to expand youth workforce development opportunities and strengthen transportation career pathways at the state level. The two agencies encouraged state and regional transportation planning agencies to rely on AmeriCorps members with conservation corps programs to complete transportation-related projects. For more information, click here.