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Maine VolunteerFare

Expansion of National Service to Engage Millions of Americans

Published April 3, 2009

Washington D.C. – Seventy-five years to the day after President Roosevelt signed the Civilian Conservation Corps into law, the House of Representatives today sent President Obama a sweeping expansion of national service that will engage millions of Americans in meeting national needs and solving local problems through volunteer service.

The legislation would reauthorize and expand national service programs administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency created in 1993. The Corporation engages four million Americans in result-driven service each year, including 75,000 AmeriCorps members, 492,000 Senior Corps volunteers, 1.1 million Learn and Serve America students, and 2.2 million additional community volunteers mobilized and managed through the agency’s programs.

Under the legislation, the Corporation would increase and enhance opportunities for Americans of all ages to serve by setting AmeriCorps on a path to increase from 75,000 to 250,000 positions each year, establishing a Summer of Service program, expanding eligibility for Senior Corps programs, and creating Silver Scholarships and Encore Fellowships for older Americans. It will strengthen America’s civic infrastructure through the creation of grant programs to invest in social innovation, support volunteer mobilization, and build nonprofit capacity. The new law is also designed to strengthen the management, cost-effectiveness and accountability of programs by increasing flexibility, consolidating funding streams, and introducing more competition. For a bill summary, click here.