Gov. Jay Inslee announced that Serve Washington, the state’s commission on national and community service, has been awarded $17.6 million in federal AmeriCorps funding.
“AmeriCorps members serve our communities’ most vulnerable residents. This has never been truer than during the past two years, when many AmeriCorps members pivoted to support pandemic relief efforts such as assisting with virtual education, food security, assembling test kits and setting up shelters,” Inslee said. “AmeriCorps members are an essential component of our community safety net at all times, but I especially want to thank them for their response to the pandemic and the ongoing support they will provide in supporting Washington’s recovery.”
Over the next year, 1,445 AmeriCorps members will earn up to a combined $8.6 million in education awards. Members will receive approximately $6,345 after they complete 1,700 hours of service to pay for college or pay off student loans.
In this funding, local Americorps opportunities are available either through the statewide fundings, or through the over $2 million coming to Washington Conservation Corps which serve Grays Harbor, Clallam, Jefferson, and a few more limited counties.
For the past year, AmeriCorps members have continued their service, adapting to meet the needs caused by the pandemic. Members helped communities respond and recover from the impact of COVID-19, developing new ways to deliver the same services to keep both themselves and those they serve safe.
Serve Washington Executive Director Amber Martin-Jahn said this year’s award is a testament to the hard work that AmeriCorps members do for Washington.
“AmeriCorps members stepped up during the pandemic and supported Washington communities in many ways, including through the WA COVID Response Corps, which played a key role in supporting food security in communities most in need of support,” Martin-Jahn said. “Serve Washington is honored to partner with philanthropies, nonprofits and state agencies across Washington to bring these federal resources to our communities.”
After a successful first year of teaming with the Schultz Family Foundation, the Washington COVID Response Corps has been renewed for the 2021–22 service year. The partnership is focused on continuing to build the capacity of local non-profits helping underserved communities while also creating meaningful opportunities for young people from diverse racial, ethnic and financial backgrounds.
The youth service corps leverages philanthropic funding with the AmeriCorps federal funding to deploy more than 200 AmeriCorps members between the ages of 17 and 25. Members assist community non-profits focused on alleviating food insecurity and other challenges resulting from the pandemic, such as learning loss, mental and physical health challenges, and gaps in basic needs to help more underserved communities through a post-pandemic recovery.
Local resources will more than match the $17.6 million in federal funds with an additional $28.6 million. Funds from the highly competitive award process come from AmeriCorps, the federal agency also known as the Corporation for National and Community Service, responsible for AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors.
AmeriCorps is based on public-private partnerships. That means AmeriCorps grantees need to leverage significant outside resources to operate their programs.
Serve Washington AmeriCorps grants and member positions will be distributed as follows:
Washington Reading Corps
Washington Service Corps
AmeriCorps federal grants are also awarded to two multi-state programs headquartered in Washington state: Mt. Adams Institute VetsWork Environment and Western Washington University-Washington Campus Compact.
Organizations are now recruiting for AmeriCorps members to begin service this fall.
AmeriCorps members typically receive a modest living stipend and an education award after they complete their service.
Those interested in serving can learn more on the Serve Washington website.