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.
 
Sincerely,

The Corps Network

California Conservation Corps Visits State Capitol

CCC corpsmembers debate budget items in a legislative hearing room.

Last week about a hundred members of the California Conservation Corps and 14 local conservation corps programs filled  the hallways of California's Capitol building in Sacramento.  The occasion was Government Education Day, and the second year that the CCC and local corps programs joined efforts for the annual day.

The corpsmembers had a busy agenda, visiting more than 80 percent of the legislative offices as well as the Governor's office and Natural Resources Agency.  The day was capped off with a budget exercise, with the corpsmembers holding forth in legislative hearing rooms in the seats normally reserved for members of the Senate and Assembly. 

The CCC's participants were the elected leaders of the Corpsmember Advisory Boards at their centers.

Corpsmembers from Conservation Corps North Bay meet Natural Resources Secretary John Laird.

Write Letters of Support for National Service Funding

From our partners at Save Service in America

National service enjoys strong support from many different sectors of American civic and economic life. Unfortunately, however, most elected officials are simply unaware that so many different constituencies are united in their support for service.

That is why Save Service in America, a campaign of Voices for National Service and ServiceNation, is circulating several letters of support and collecting signatures from key community leaders. It is crucial that we document the breadth of  support CNCS programs have earned, so we  are ready to share it with Washington decisionmakers when the budget  debates resume.

To show your support, sign on to a support letter today. If you have any questions, please contact us at info@voicesforservice.org or 202-742-7374. Find your constituency group on this page to be directed to the appropriate letter and full instructions.

Michigan Civilian Conservation Corps Could Get Boost from State Senate Plan


From MLive Media Group

LANSING, MI – Legislation aimed at reviving Michigan’s Civilian Conservation Corps was overwhelmingly approved by the state Senate with bipartisan support on Wednesday.

The multi-bill package next advances to the House, which by the end of the year could take up the plan to modernize the program.

The legislation calls for emphasizing public-private partnerships and could include universities, private companies and non-profit organizations. Supporters of the change say the program would expand the scope of participation for Michigan youth between the ages of 17 and 27, including broadened work training programs.

Lawmakers supporting the plan say the Civilian Conservation Corps would maintain its roots of field-based training, conservation and restoration work. State parks and natural resources programs could be an emphasis.

Continue Reading at MLive Media Group

Boiler Plate: 
LANSING, MI – Legislation aimed at reviving Michigan’s Civilian Conservation Corps was overwhelmingly approved by the state Senate with bipartisan support on Wednesday.

Mary Ellen Ardouny Named President and CEO of The Corps Network

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mary Ellen Ardouny, a long-time champion for youth, has been named President and CEO of The Corps Network, the national association of Service and Conservation Corps.

Other Areas

In addition to our major areas of advocacy work, The Corps Network also seeks to identify funding sources and policies that will benefit Corps throughout federal agencies.

National Service and Americorps

The Corps Network and Service and Conservation Corps are major participants in AmeriCorps and other National Service programs. This funding helps Corps to offer more young people positions on their crews, get more projects done, and serve the pressing needs of their communities in an extremely cost effective manner.

Advocacy

The Corps Network promotes the idea that Corps provide a solution to multiple problems in American society.