Washington Service Corps/Americorps
Contact: Deborah Aoki
Employment Security Department
P.O. Box 9046
Olympia, WA 98507-9046
Telephone: (360) 725-9549
State Website: www.esd.wa.gov/washingtonservicecorps
Participation: 850 participants were served by the Washington Service Corps as members in AmeriCorps and VISTA programs between September 1, 2012 and August 31, 2013.
Who is Served: The individual and team-based placement program is for unemployed, out-of school youth between the ages of 18 and 25. The team-based program serves participants 17 years and older who is a citizen or a permanent resident alien.
Program Description: Washington Service Corps (WSC) engages people across the state in full-time service projects benefiting their local communities. It was formed in anticipation of a national program to establish a service delivery system and provide state matching funds. With the advent of the federal AmeriCorps program, WSC developed a broad-based program to involve service opportunities for Washington residents, both in teams and as individuals. In partnership with local sponsors, such as school districts, local governments and chambers of commerce, WSC promotes work ethic and the satisfaction and skills learned by “getting things done.” AmeriCorps is a service program, not a workforce or training program. Although members receive some job and work maturity skills training, it is not the intent or the focus of the program.
Other Program Characteristics: Members who complete their term of service (normally 10 1/2 months to one full year) are eligible to receive a federally funded education award, aligned with the Pell Grant, currently $5,550. The award is held in trust and paid to educational institutions or to sponsors of federally guaranteed student loans. In both the individual and team programs, members must have completed high school or received a GED before using their educational awards.
Program History: The WSC was founded in 1983 to involve young adults in their communities. WSC placed 18 to 25-year-olds in six-month projects and supported them with a minimal living allowance. In 1993, AmeriCorps was created by the federal government to give Americans an opportunity to serve their communities and earn educational benefits. WSC has been a major provider of AmeriCorps and VISTA services since the program was launched in 1994, to become today one of the largest state competitive grant programs in the nation.
Planning Cycle: Every one to three years (depends on program).
Outcome Measures: Each AmeriCorps team establishes performance measures aligned with the newly prescribed national performance measure focus areas, that include Education, Disaster Services, Health Access/Education, Environmental Stewardship, and Veteran Services. Each performance measure is defined by establishing targeted outputs and outcomes.
Funding: AmeriCorps competitive grants are awarded for a three-year cycle with an annual renewal Continuation process and the VISTA grants are awarded annually. Annual member placement fee required at grant established level. The cash match is provided by a variety of sources from project sites. WSC is a statewide program administered by the Employment Security Department.
State Funding: Approximately $924,000. Annually, from the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction as local matching funds for the Washington Reading Corps.
Federal Funding: (September 1, 2012-August 31, 2013), $7,345,000 Corporation for National Service through the Washington Commission for National and Community Service for AmeriCorps*USA programs through a nationally competitive selection process; $3,351,400 from the Corporation for National Service through the Washington Commission for National and Community Service for AmeriCorps*USA Washington Reading Corps programs; and $351,000 from the Corporation for National Service for AmeriCorps*VISTA programs (to support the Washington Reading Corps).
Statutory Authority: RCW 50.65. Administered by the Employment Security Department.