Thursday, May 28, 2020

Volunteer Service in Vulnerable Community such as AMERICORPS. Missed Opportunities. incentives. A

Expanding AmeriCorps could turn new grads into an army of contact tracers. It just needs funding.

May 21, 2020 at 8:00 a.m. EDT

As the public health crisis shatters the economy, employment prospects for the Class of 2020 are grim. Newly minted college graduates have had internships and job offers rescinded or delayed. They are entering a workforce rife with competition for scarce opportunities.
Against that backdrop, lawmakers say a decades-old federal initiative could offer work as beneficial to graduates as it is to their communities. AmeriCorps funds tens of thousands of young people to help vulnerable populations across the country. In exchange for their service, volunteers can build their résumés and receive up to $6,195 toward student loans or a degree.
The Clinton-era national service program is getting new attention as the country tries to contain and recover from the coronavirus pandemic. A bipartisan group of lawmakers wants to deploy an army of volunteers for contact tracing, which would require some 300,000 people to map exposure to the virus. They say an expanded fleet of young AmeriCorps members also could deliver food and supplies to people who are homebound or tutor elementary students to stem learning loss.

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