Tester, Bullock Announce more than $5 Million in AmeriCorps Funds for Montana

Senator and Governor Secure Money for Service Projects Across the State

(Montana) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester and Governor Steve Bullock announced today that Montana will receive a total of $5.1 million in funding for AmeriCorps programs that support conservation, health, and legal services.

In a call with Montana grant recipients, Tester highlighted the benefits of community service for Montana’s economy. He also discussed the President’s proposed budget, which cuts funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service—the program that funds AmeriCorps—by 88 percent.

“AmeriCorps and the Montana projects they support are critically important to our state’s economy,” said Tester, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Montana is known as the Last Best Place and AmeriCorps plays an important role in keeping it that way. While we always look for ways to cut wasteful spending and reduce our debt, we cannot do it on the backs of volunteers and services that build and strengthen Montana’s economy.”

“AmeriCorps members make a remarkable difference in the lives of our fellow Montanans and provide innovative solutions to some of our state’s most pressing challenges,” said Governor Bullock. “From improving and protecting our public lands, to ensuring the next generation has the opportunity to succeed, AmeriCorps and the ethic of service it cultivates is invaluable to the strength of our state.”

The grant funding for Montana breaks down as follows:

  • $645,055 for Governor’s Office of Community Service – AmeriCorps Members will work with the Governor’s Office of Community Service to fulfill his three-year needs assessment plan for service, volunteerism, and emergency preparedness.
  • $127,130 for FoodCorps Montana – AmeriCorps members will connect children in public schools to healthy food through nutrition education, school garden construction, and improved school lunch offerings. (11 AmeriCorps members)
  • $219,137 for Montana State Parks AmeriCorps – AmeriCorps members will improve 400 acres of land and ten miles of trail, provide environmental education, and respond to natural disasters. (21 AmeriCorps members)

  • $242,477 for Montana Energy Corps – AmeriCorps members will provide weatherization and energy assistance services to low-income households and educate people in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable practices. (20 AmeriCorps members)
  • $356,400 for Big Sky Watershed Corps – AmeriCorps members will provide environmental stewardship services for northern Rocky Mountains headwaters, improving at-risk ecosystems and local watersheds. (27 AmeriCorps members)
  • $1,872,000 for Montana Conservation Corps – AmeriCorps members will complete various conservation projects, including fuels reduction, weatherization, watershed restoration, fencing, habitat enrichment, trail work, and more. (313 AmeriCorps members)

  • $268,500 for Justice for Montanans – AmeriCorps members will expand access to civil legal information and services for low-to-moderate-income Montanans, recruit volunteers to educate, advise, and represent them in civil matters, and engage in targeted community outreach and education campaigns. (20 AmeriCorps members)

In addition to the $3.7 million in grants, Tester and Bullock announced $1.4 million in education awards for AmeriCorps members. The members are given the money after they have completed their service to help pay for post-secondary education or pay down student loans. There are over 400 AmeriCorps members currently serving in Montana.