Tester, Walsh announce major funding for Montana AmeriCorps groups
Senators praise the role of national service members
(U.S. SENATE) – Senators Jon Tester and John Walsh today announced that three Montana AmeriCorps organizations will receive $2.2 million from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The three organizations are:
• The Montana Conservation Corps will receive nearly $1.9 million to improve parks and trails, and support environmental health and tourism. A Veteran Corps component will receive training to make them eligible to obtain Chainsaw and Basic Wildland Firefighter certifications.
• Montana State Parks AmeriCorps will receive $167,000 so AmeriCorps members can improve the condition of state park lands, enrich educational opportunities, increase volunteer capacity, and strengthen community outreach.
• Justice for Montanans Project will receive nearly $227,000 so AmeriCorps members can serve as navigators of the justice system. These navigators will help low-income residents find the information and resources needed to resolve legal problems. Members will recruit and support volunteers to gain knowledge of the legal system and exercise their legal rights and responsibilities.
“Montanans today are committed to serving their communities more than ever before,” Senator Tester said. “Given the stiff competition for these grants, only the most exceptional proposals are awarded funding. I’m especially proud of these organizations and the great work they are doing to improve our state.”
“In Montana, we are proud of our commitment to our communities and we value service to one another,” said Walsh, who previously served on the Montana Commission of Community Service. “These values are part of what make Montana such a great place to work, live, and raise a family. The hundreds of volunteers who will be able to continue their work thanks to these grants will better our state and ensure we hand down a better Montana to future generations.”
“AmeriCorps members make a powerful impact on the toughest challenges facing our nation,” said CNCS CEO Wendy Spencer. “Building on Montana’s strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor, AmeriCorps members will improve lives and strengthen communities across the state. While they serve others, AmeriCorps members will also expand opportunity for themselves – gaining skills and experience to jumpstart their careers.”
The current year’s AmeriCorps grant cycle was highly competitive, with strong demand by organizations seeking AmeriCorps resources. The 2014 competition prioritized investments in economic opportunity, education, veterans and military families, disaster services, and continued a new initiative for governors and mayors.
AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 members in intensive service each year to serve through nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations at 25,000 locations across the country. These members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve. AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Social Innovation Fund, and the Volunteer Generation Fund, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov.