Tester Announces More Than $5 Million in AmeriCorps Funding for Montana

Grants fund 444 AmeriCorps members who will provide legal, environmental & other community services across Montana

(Big Sandy, Mont.) – U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced Montana’s AmeriCorps State and National programs will receive more than $5 million in funding to employ 444 AmeriCorps members who will provide legal, environmental and other community services across the state.

The funding was awarded by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), and will support five AmeriCorps programs that focus on conservation, economic opportunity, education, and providing legal services. The Montana Commission on Community Service, the Governor-appointed state service commission, will receive $704,848 in non-competitive formula funding, which will in turn be awarded to Montana organizations to support additional AmeriCorps members in the coming months.

“AmeriCorps members work tirelessly to address the most pressing needs our communities face,” Tester said. “I’m grateful for their service, and their efforts to make Montana the Last Best Place to live for everyone.”

The AmeriCorps grants will provide $2,920,535 to five sponsoring programs that will deploy 444 AmeriCorps members into service across the state of Montana.

The AmeriCorps programs receiving competitive funding are as follows:

Fire Ranger Corps (Missoula) – $196,421
Fire Ranger Corps members will increase community and environmental resiliency by conducting wildfire-related activities in federally designated Wilderness areas and surrounding communities.

Montana Conservation Corps (Bozeman) – $1,994,000
Montana Conservation Corps members engage in a versatile environmental stewardship intervention that mobilizes young adults, teens, and veterans to protect at-risk ecosystems and improve natural resources on public lands and communities in Montana and connected ecosystems of neighboring states.

Montana State Parks AmeriCorps (Helena) – $219,137
Montana State Parks members promote healthy, active and environmentally aware communities by improving the condition of state park lands, enriching educational opportunities, building volunteer capacity, and strengthening community outreach service at 18 state parks across Montana.

Justice for Montanans (Helena) – $268,500
Justice for Montanans members expand access to civil legal information and legal services for low to moderate-income Montanans by increasing access to intake, self-help, and referral services; recruiting community volunteers to educate, advise, and represent low to moderate income Montanans in civil matters that fundamentally impact their lives; and increasing access to legal information through community outreach and education campaigns so that Montanans will be empowered to improve their lives and protect their rights.

Montana Energy Corps (Butte) – $242,477
Montana Energy Corps members provide weatherization and energy bill assistance services to low-income Montanans and design and conduct educational activities in energy efficiency, renewable energy, LIHEAP, and sustainable practices throughout Montana.

CNCS will provide an additional $1,447,911 in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards to the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants. After completing a full term of service, AmeriCorps members receive an award of approximately $6,000 that they can use to pay for college or to pay off student loans.

AmeriCorps’ unique model means that the grants announced today will leverage an additional $7,374,183 from the private sector, foundations, and other sources – further increasing the return on the federal investment.