FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Service Year Alliance Commends Sen. Coons and Senate Leaders’ Pandemic Response and Opportunity Through National Service Act
Legislation will dramatically expand national service programs to support coronavirus response and recovery efforts
WASHINGTON, DC (April 27, 2020) – In response to the recently announced legislation from Senator Chris Coons (D-MD) and his fellow Senate colleagues, Service Year Alliance commends Sen. Coons’ leadership and his efforts to expand national service programs, including AmeriCorps, in an effort to combat COVID-19. The Pandemic Response and Opportunity Through National Service Act would fund 750,000 national service positions over a three-year response and recovery period, create partnerships between AmeriCorps and federal health agencies, and increase the AmeriCorps living allowance so that Americans of all backgrounds are able to serve.
“There has never been a more critical moment for America to invest in national service — and Service Year Alliance is proud of the efforts by our partners in the national service field, including Voices for National Service, in ensuring that national service is well-positioned to not only support our public health community’s immediate response efforts, but also can be utilized to put Americans back to work to tackle the economic crisis we face as a country,” said Jesse Colvin, CEO of Service Year Alliance. “We are proud to lift up this pivotal legislation and work to ensure its inclusion in the next coronavirus relief bill.”
“AmeriCorps members are playing key roles in helping communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are assisting with intake at drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites, organizing blood drives, setting up temporary isolation sites, delivering emergency food and supplies to vulnerable populations, making support calls to elderly and medically fragile community members, supporting students in low income communities to mitigate the learning loss resulting from school closures and much more. Increasingly, AmeriCorps members are being called on to support contact tracing,” said AnnMaura Connolly, President of Voices for National Service. “The Voices for National Service community is so grateful to Senator Coons and his colleagues for calling for investing in AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs as a cost effective way to help our country respond to and recover from COVID-19 through The Pandemic Response and Opportunity Through National Service Act.”
“Just as Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression — mobilizing millions of unemployed Americans to tend to our public lands and conserve our natural resources — and as George W. Bush expanded AmeriCorps and Peace Corps following the 9/11 attacks, our country needs a mass mobilization of Americans who are looking to serve our communities and help our country recover in the wake of this pandemic,” said John Bridgeland, Vice Chair of Service Year Alliance. “The Pandemic Response and Opportunity Through National Service Act brings this idea to life while also creating innovative partnerships between federal agencies to support the immediate response needs of our public health community.”
In addition to promoting the expansion of national service programs through the Pandemic Response and Opportunity Through National Service Act, Service Year Alliance also continues to prioritize the need to mobilize Americans through national service to provide our state and local health departments with much needed support for contact tracing and a national testing initiative, as proposed by Rep. Houlahan and Bera in the House of Representatives.
About Service Year Alliance
Service Year Alliance is working to make a year of paid, full-time service — a service year — a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. To achieve our mission, Service Year Alliance develops and documents evidence in priority focus areas to persuade decision makers to increase public and private investments in the service year ecosystem. We build coalitions and foster strategic corporate, community, and research partnerships and develop service year programs and resources in priority focus areas to strengthen the case for service years. We advance policy proposals that unlock public funds for service years to create the opportunity for all young Americans to serve. We elevate service years as an experience that transforms lives, strengthens communities, and fuels civic renewal. Finally, we manage ServiceYear.org, a technology platform that matches those who want to serve with paid service year opportunities. Learn more at ServiceYearAlliance.org.