West Virginia Ranks First in the Nation for Producing AmeriCorps Members

8/7/2018

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New data shows more AmeriCorps members come from West Virginia than any other state.

When it comes to enrolling in AmeriCorps, West Virginia residents rank #1 among states, according to new data released today by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers the AmeriCorps program and leads the nation’s national service and volunteer programs.

In West Virginia, AmeriCorps programs are implemented by Volunteer West Virginia, the State’s Commission for National and Community Service.

"I am thrilled that West Virginia ranks #1 in the nation for producing AmeriCorps members," said Heather Foster, Executive Director of Volunteer West Virginia. "This is a great accomplishment – and complements the hard-working, patriotic values that West Virginians are raised with!"

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AmeriCorps 2017 Swearing-In Group Photograph 

AmeriCorps members can be found throughout West Virginia tackling the state’s toughest challenges. West Virginia’s AmeriCorps volunteers tutor and mentor children; increase access to healthy and local food; provide children with nutritious meals through the summer months; develop heritage sites and preserve historic towns; and much more.

AmeriCorps programs in West Virginia include: AmeriCorps on the Frontline, Appalachian Forest Heritage Area, Energy Express, Grow Ohio Valley, High Rocks, LifeBridge, Marshall University Research Corporation, Preserve West Virginia, Step by Step Strength Corps, Twin Branch Recreational Area, and WVU Collaborative Direct AmeriCorps. Learn more about these programs here

Since AmeriCorps was formed nearly 25 years ago, 13,000 residents of West Virginia have given more than 19 million hours of service to their country and received more than $32.4 million in scholarships. This year, CNCS will invest more than $12.2 million in national service projects in the state, including funding for more than 1,000 AmeriCorps members.

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AmeriCorps Swearing-In Ceremony in Charleston, WV 

"Congratulations to West Virginia and all our 2018 AmeriStates and AmeriCities" said Chester Spellman, director of AmeriCorps. "By taking the AmeriCorps pledge, West Virginia citizens are building a brighter tomorrow. Their service as AmeriCorps members exemplifies what it means to be an American. I salute every AmeriCorps member for their dedication and determination to ‘get things done’ and encourage other Americans to make the same commitment."

Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through 21,600 schools, nonprofits, and community and faith-based organizations across the country. These citizens have played a critical role in the recovery of communities affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. They also tutor and mentor young people, connect veterans to jobs, care for seniors, reduce crime and revive cities, fight the opioid epidemic, and meet other critical needs.

Since 1994, AmeriCorps members have provided more than 1.4 billion hours of service and earned more than $3.6 billion in education scholarships, more than $1 billion of which has been used to pay back student debt. Those interested in joining AmeriCorps can learn more at AmeriCorps.gov/Join.

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AmeriCorps members celebrate being sworn into a year of service to West Virginia 

A growing body of research shows that service has an effect on more than just the communities served, but also on the members themselves. Many AmeriCorps volunteers serve in their hometowns, while others come from across the country to make West Virginia their home for the year. AmeriCorps serve their members by creating jobs and providing pathways for people entering the workforce.

Public, private, and nonprofit sector employers have demonstrated their commitment to hiring AmeriCorps alumni, signing on to be an Employer of National Service. Launched by CNCS in 2014, the initiative builds a talent pipeline connecting AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni with more than 500 leading employers including Disney; Farmers Insurance; MasterCard; United Way Worldwide; the City of Philadelphia, the State of Montana, and NASA.

The rankings were determined by associating the permanent address of AmeriCorps members’ to a U.S. designated place and state, including the District of Columbia. The analysis looked exclusively at members who served in program year 2016. For this analysis, a small city was defined as any place with a population greater than or equal to 100,000 people and less than 250,000 people. A large-sized city was defined as any place with a population greater than or equal to 250,000. States and cities listed produce the highest number of AmeriCorps members per capita.

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About Volunteer West Virginia
West Virginia is the state’s Commission for National and Community Service and is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History. The agency challenges West Virginians to strengthen their communities through service and volunteerism by identifying and mobilizing resources, promoting an ethic of service, and empowering communities to solve problems and improve the quality of life for individuals and families. For more information, visit www.volunteerwv.org.

About AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, and leads the nation’s volunteering and service efforts. For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov.

Contact Information

Dana Bryant, Dana.a.Bryant@wv.gov

Volunteer West Virginia

600 Capitol Street, Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: 304.558.0111 | Toll Free: 800.WVHELPS | Fax: 304.558.0101

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