Tester Secures More Than $2 Million in Rescue Plan Funding for AmeriCorps to Address Conservation, Community Needs in Montana

Senator: “AmeriCorps members and the work they do add immense value to the people and places that make Montana special, and these additional Rescue Plan funds will help them go even further.”

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced he has secured an additional $2,041,727 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for AmeriCorps programs that support land and water conservation, provide support and resources for college students, community services, and access to justice for low-income Montanans.

Tester was the only member of Montana’s congressional delegation to vote for this funding.

“AmeriCorps members and the work they do add immense value to the people and places that make Montana special, and these additional Rescue Plan funds will help them go even further,” Tester said. “Their commitment and dedication helps folks graduate from college, access affordable legal services, and preserve and protect our public lands. This funding will allow Montana’s AmeriCorps members to continue serving their community and will help make sure Montana remains the Last Best Place for generations to come.”

Five AmeriCorps State and National programs located in Montana will directly receive a total of $965,819 in ARPA funding:

Montana Conservation Corps – $505,546
Montana Conservation Corps members complete various conservation projects across Montana, including hazardous fuels reduction, weatherization, watershed restoration, fencing, habitat enrichment, trail work, and more.

Big Sky Watershed Corps – $211,800
Big Sky Watershed Corps members help Montana’s watershed communities with local conservation efforts, contribute innovation and skills within watershed organizations, and mobilize volunteers to improve at-risk ecosystems.

Montana State Parks AmeriCorps – $59,948
Montana State Parks AmeriCorps members promote healthy, active, and environmentally aware communities by enhancing park land, enriching educational opportunities, increasing volunteerism, and improving community outreach in state parks.

Justice For Montanans – $71,400
Justice for Montanans empowers low- to moderate-income Montanans to advocate for their legal rights and increases access to justice. Members perform a variety of duties including expanding intake processes, serving clients directly, providing legal information and referrals, and helping attorneys with case management.

Montana Campus Compact AmeriCorps – $117,126
College student AmeriCorps members focus on helping first generation and low-income Montanans access post-secondary education opportunities.

The Governor’s Office of Community Service, the Governor-appointed State Service Commission was also awarded an additional $1,075,908 in formula funding. This funding will provide the state more flexibility and resources to increase living allowances, stabilize their state AmeriCorps programs, and expand AmeriCorps opportunities over the next three years.

Tester worked tirelessly to ensure the American Rescue Plan Act provides targeted resources to create jobs and build back Montana’s economy, including funding to ensure local mayors have the resources to keep police officers and firefighters on the beat, every Montanan who wants a vaccine can get one, schools fully re-opened safely, and badly-needed relief for hard-hit Montana workers and small businesses.

To learn more about AmeriCorps programs in Montana, visit serve.mt.gov.