NEWS: New federal partnership will expand AmeriCorps in the Mississippi River Delta region

July 14, 2016

First DeltaCorps boots to hit the ground this fall

WASHINGTON – A new partnership for national service, DeltaCorps, will help address economic and social needs of local communities in the eight states of the Mississippi River Delta region, leaders from the Delta Regional Authority and Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, announced today. This partnership, valued at $1.6 million, will deploy up to 100 AmeriCorps members to the Delta region over the next year.

DeltaCorps: a program of AmeriCorps and the Delta Regional Authority will deploy AmeriCorps members to local organizations to help them improve economic opportunity in their communities. DeltaCorps members will serve with nonprofit organizations that have distinguished themselves as powerful catalysts for change in the Delta region. The program will utilize a diverse portfolio of models that develop stronger local economies through workforce training, health and wellness, emergency preparedness, and additional focus areas.

“Our communities in the Delta region are in need of increased capacity to their existing assets so that they can better address the numerous challenges and harness economic opportunities for Delta workers, families, and businesses. We are looking to the existing, proven model of success in AmeriCorps and investing our resources to deploy interested service members that will help these organizations create jobs, build their local communities, and improve the lives of the 10 million people in the Delta region,” said Chris Masingill, federal co-chairman of the DRA.

The added capacity that DeltaCorps brings to community organizations will help them expand and reach into traditionally underserved communities. As DRA recognizes the important role national and community service plays in the economic development of the Delta region, the program also elevates the culture of service and civic engagement in the Delta. Region-focused leadership training for the DeltaCorps members will develop future leaders for the Delta region while also increasing the positive impact young residents can have in supporting their local communities.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Delta Regional Authority, which shares our belief in improving economic opportunity through unique and innovative partnerships like the one we announced today,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “For more than 20 years, AmeriCorps has helped organizations meet critical needs in communities around the nation. Through the new DeltaCorps partnership, AmeriCorps members will continue to address some of the most pressing social and economic challenges facing the Mississippi River Delta region.”

The Notice of Federal Funding Availability has been posted on both agencies’ websites at www.dra.gov/DeltaCorps and www.nationalservice.gov/DeltaCorps. The program is accepting applications on a rolling basis. Organizations with existing infrastructure to support the AmeriCorps program are invited to apply for DeltaCorps member slots.

"All the Delta Regional Authority states will benefit from having the DeltaCorps members working closely with our local organizations and leaders,” said Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, who serves as the states’ co-chairman for the DRA. “Mississippi welcomes the opportunity to boost community development while developing leaders for the future."

DeltaCorps is modeled after the Delta Service Corps program created in the 1990s to mobilize corps members to address community needs through national service projects and is structured to continue the strategy begun by the initial program. DRA and AmeriCorps plan to deploy the first group of DeltaCorps members in fall 2016 to each of the eight states of the DRA footprint: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. This deployment will coincide with a national commemoration of the one-millionth participant to serve in AmeriCorps.

Since 1994, more than 980,000 Americans have earned more than $3 billon in AmeriCorps scholarships to help pay for college or pay back student loans. This fall, the nation will reach a milestone when the one-millionth AmeriCorps member is sworn-in, pledging to “get things done” for America.

The Delta Regional Authority is a federal-state partnership created by Congress in 2000 to help create jobs, build communities, and improve lives through strategic investments in economic development in 252 counties and parishes across eight states. These investments enhance the basic public infrastructure, transportation, workforce development, small businesses and entrepreneurs, and disaster resilience of Delta communities. Learn more at DRA.gov.

AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and other programs, and leads President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit nationalservice.gov.

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Spencer Lucker
(202) 434-4842
slucker@dra.gov