June 25, 2013

Manchin, Rockefeller Announce More Than $2 Million for West Virginia's Americorps Programs

WASHINGTON D.C.— Senators Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller today announced an award of $2,643,284 in federal AmeriCorps funding for four AmeriCorps programs in West Virginia.

“West Virginians have always believed in neighbors helping neighbors,” said Manchin. “Giving back to our communities – contributing our time and service to improve the places that we live for our neighbors and for future generations – is such an important principle to instill in ourselves and our children. I am proud of West Virginians for the services they provide and am pleased that this funding will help make our homes, our communities and our beautiful state an even better place to live.”

“A commitment to public service brought me to West Virginia and it has been the foundation of my service to the state for nearly 50 of its 150 years,” said Rockefeller, who served the town of Emmons, WV, in 1964 as a Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) volunteer. “AmeriCorps and other national public service programs provide direct opportunities to make the future brighter for communities and individuals across our state.”

The competitive grant funding comes from the Corporations for National and Community Service (CNCS), which oversees AmeriCorps Programs. As a former VISTA Volunteer, Rockefeller has been a staunch advocate for public service programs including AmeriCorps. He was instrumental in securing the federal waiver needed to create Energy Express AmeriCorps, one of the grant recipients.

The below AmeriCorps programs received the following award amounts:

$1,198,587 – West Virginia University Research Corporation, Energy Express AmeriCorps – Morgantown, WV: AmeriCorps members will provide literacy assistance and maintain nutritional status for low-income 1st-6th grade students during summer break.

• $260,000 – Appalachian Forest Heritage Area, Enhancing Assets to Benefit Communities – Charleston, WV: AmeriCorps members will help remove invasive species in the area and restore forest habitat. They will also assist in weatherizing low-income homes and public buildings.

• $252,699 – United Way of Central West Virginia, LifeBridge AmeriCorps Veteran Corps – Charleston, WV: AmeriCorps members will provide job skills training for veterans and military families in West Virginia.

• $930,998 – United Way of Central West Virginia, LifeBridge AmeriCorps – Charleston, WV: AmeriCorps members will work to improve academic engagement among K-12 students and to improve retention among college students. Members will also assist in job skill and financial literacy training for low income residents, and will lead nutrition education classes throughout the state.