Tester Announces $5.7 Million in AmeriCorps Funding for Montana
Funding will come from AmeriCorps State and National Fiscal Year 2022 grants and the American Rescue Plan Act
U.S. Senator Jon Tester today announced $5.7 million in grants and education awards for AmeriCorps Montana. These funds will come from AmeriCorps State and National FY22 and American Rescue Plan funding, and will go toward public land conservation, legal services, and education in Montana.
Tester helped negotiate the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which provided this funding, and he was the only Montana statewide official that supported the legislation. Thanks to ARPA, Montana’s unemployment rate is currently at the lowest rate in state history.
“Investing in public lands and education are two of the most effective ways to support our rural communities, and AmeriCorps excels at both.” Tester said. “These funds will help boost our state’s robust recreation economy and create opportunities for young Montanans as they enter a competitive job market.”
A breakdown of the funding can be found below:
- Montana Conservation Corps, Inc National Funding (Bozeman) – $2,500,000
- Montana Conservation Corps, Inc (Bozeman) – $860,000
- Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (Helena) – $434,000
- Montana Legal Services Association (Helena) – $561,000
- University of Montana (Missoula) – $556,000
In 2020, Tester held hundreds of meetings with Montana’s workers, small business owners, frontline health care workers, educators, Tribes, and local officials to solicit input about what Montanans need to make it through the pandemic. Tester used that input to help craft the American Rescue Plan, which provided $20 billion to get folks vaccinated and back to work, $382 million to get Montana schools reopened, legislation to restore long-distance service to the Empire Builder Amtrak route, and billions for small businesses, rural hospitals and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In September of 2021, Tester secured more than $2 million in ARPA funding for AmeriCorps to address conservation and community needs in Montana. These funds were allocated to the Montana Conservation Corps, the Big Sky Watershed Corps, Montana State Parks AmeriCorps, Justice for Montanans, and the Montana Campus Compact AmeriCorps.