History in West Virginia
National Service and AmeriCorps have a long history in West Virginia. If AmeriCorps had a great grandfather, The Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930's and 40's would be it. The public relief program, part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, housed over 67 CCC camps in West Virginia. The program put young men to work during the Great Depression. CCC participants built many of the parks, bridges, lodges, and lakes that we use today.
Next came Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), the brainchild of President John F. Kennedy. Created as a domestic alternative to the Peace Corps, some of the first VISTA volunteers served in Appalachia, mentoring youth and educating communities on black lung. With the state's most famous VISTA being Senator Jay Rockefeller, who moved to Emmons, West Virginia to serve in the 1960's. The program was incorporated into AmeriCorps and renamed AmeriCorps VISTA with the creation of AmeriCorps in 1993.
AmeriCorps was formed in 1993 and signed into law by Bill Clinton. At that time, AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps NCCC, and AmeriCorps Seniors is formed. Last year, more than 3,100 people of all ages and backgrounds are helping to strengthen communities through National Service in West Virginia. Serving at more than 400 locations throughout the state, these volunteers mentor youth, grow local food, restore historic properties, conserve natural habitats, and more.
To learn more about West Virginia's National Service Programs click here