We are writing to request your support for increased funding for national service programs in the Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations bill.
Our businesses have seen firsthand the benefits that national service has on our nation’s workforce and in our communities. Young people who serve with programs like AmeriCorps, YouthBuild, and Peace Corps develop life-long leadership and professional skills that benefit their future careers and help them stand out to employers. Essential workplace skills built through these programs -- such as problem solving, leadership, teamwork, and communication -- are becoming increasingly important for companies to succeed. We need employees with these skills because they can learn quickly, adapt, and take on a variety of job functions at all levels of seniority.
We have also seen the power of national service in classrooms and communities across the country. Evidence shows that AmeriCorps programs are increasing reading and math levels, graduation rates, and college success of children and youth served by corps members. AmeriCorps and YouthBuild corps members are building and repairing homes, restoring parks and playgroups, and helping to turn around blighted neighborhoods. And those who have served become the problem-solvers we need for the future. These efforts strengthen our economy by creating healthier communities.
If our country hopes to continue to lead in an increasingly competitive global economy, we must invest in programs like AmeriCorps, YouthBuild, and Peace Corps to prepare our workforce for tomorrow’s jobs and strengthen American communities. For all these reasons, we urge you to increase funding for national service in FY 2018. Thank you for your consideration.