Expanding National Service through Interagency Collaboration
Federal agencies have a major opportunity to leverage national service as a tool to address the challenges confronting our nation, building agency capacity, developing talent pipelines, and building social cohesion through shared service experience. At the United We Stand summit in September 2022, President Biden recognized the potential for interagency national service partnerships to build a stronger civic fabric and unite communities in the wake of hate-based violence. Through the commitments made at last year’s summit, the Administration seeks to weave national service into multiple agencies’ work and ensure that they are effectively and efficiently coordinating and potentially infusing national service through the implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act.
Interagency national service partnerships have a long history of success, including FEMA Corps, Public Health AmeriCorps, Resilience AmeriCorps, the Promise Zones initiative, the National Partnership for Student Success, and many other examples from past administrations. Additionally, the 2009 Serve America Act, the most recent legislative reauthorization of the Corporation for National and Community Service or AmeriCorps, encouraged AmeriCorps to partner with other agencies and the private sector to direct national service toward tackling shared challenges across the federal government.
As Service Year Alliance outlined in our Roadmap to the Service Presidency, as well as in agency-focused transition memos shared with the Biden Administration and recent public comments, establishing multiple interagency national service corps, modeled after FEMA Corps and Public Health AmeriCorps, could expand the capacity and impact of government agencies. Interagency corps can also provide a powerful talent pipeline into the federal workforce, offering an on-ramp into public service for motivated and passionate young people and simultaneously helping to address major federal hiring needs.
AmeriCorps and other federal agencies already possess the authority to enter into interagency partnerships without additional congressional authority. Given the Administration's commitment to integrating national service into federal agencies across the government, we encourage AmeriCorps and other federal agencies to prioritize the following recommendations for taking a whole-of-government approach to national service, recognizing it as a powerful tool to meet agency priorities and to build pipelines into the public sector:
Department of Defense (DOD)
Military Families Service Corps (April 2023)
Department of Energy (DOE)
- Building Pathways into Clean Energy Jobs: Leveraging Service Years in Department of Energy’s New Workforce Programs Funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act (January 2023)
Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Leveraging National Service to Implement the US Department of Agriculture’s Inflation Reduction Act Priorities (November 2022)
Department of Labor (DOL)