Channel Your Inner Santa: Advocate for Increased Federal Funding for Corps

As participants in the Crowdrise Holiday Challenge, The Corps Network greatly appreciates your donation to support our work cultivating the “Next Greatest Generation” of Americans. Each week, we will highlight some of our 2013 accomplishments. This week we will focus on our work advocating for increased federal funding for Corps and the next greatest generation. 

The Corps Network (TCN) continues to advocate for the participation of America’s youth in Service and Conservation Corps. Corps programs provide young people with access to education and job training opportunities that increase their chances for career and life success.

In 2013, TCN promoted both the Youth Corps Act and the Public Lands Service Corps Act as a part of our nationwide initiative to raise the profile of Service and Conservation Corps. 

The Youth Corps Act, H.R. 3061, expands the successful “Youth Corps” model to serve thousands more youth each year with education and job training that enables them to find meaningful employment, and instills in them a sense of civic engagement and environmental stewardship. The Youth Corps Act ensures that those most in need receive support services and experience positive outcomes, like enrollment in postsecondary education, acquisition of industry-recognized credentials, and career placement.

The Public Lands Service Corps Act (PLSCA) will help restore America’s natural, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational and scenic resources while promoting the value of service and training a new generation of public land managers and outdoor enthusiasts. The bill would authorize increased funding for this valuable program and encourage federal agencies to give preference to Corpsmembers when hiring for agency jobs. The PLSCA has been introduced in both the House and Senate and is expected to have a hearing scheduled soon.  

The Corps Network is also proud that we were awarded a grant by the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) to launch a new 
Opportunity Youth Service Initiative (OYSI) that will support low-income and disadvantaged youth as members of America's Service and Conservation Corps. As part of the initiative, Corpsmembers will complete environmental stewardship projects designed to increase access to open spaces and outdoor recreational opportunities, add economic value, and promote healthy lifestyles among both the OYSI members and the communities in which they serve. The program will operate for at least 3 years, engaging approximately 340 diverse youth and young adults ranging in age from 16-24. CNCS has made a commitment of $2.4 million for each of the first three years of this new AmeriCorps initiative. 

In addition, The Corps Network has been a strong 
advocate for Corps programs during budget cuts to federal spending, know as sequestration. A new study conducted by TCN about the many impacts of sequestration on Service and Conservation Corps indicates that sequestration will have a severe impact upon Corps programs and will reduce the number of young people to whom they can offer job training and educational development. The study was designed to identify the key areas affecting each Corps’ ability to operate and fulfill their multi-faceted missions. Sequestration’s impact is wide throughout The Corps Network, with 88 percent of respondents indicating they have been, or will be, negatively impacted.

As a final highlight, The Corps Network continues to advocate for increased federal funding for Corps nationwide by working closely with our partners to craft language for the 
Higher Education Bill, which would help youth programs obtain further funding for postsecondary education success initiatives. 

Please help us continue working on behalf of The Corps Movement! We hope you choose to Channel Your Inner Santa and give to The Corps Network.

The Corps Network