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Kentucky Receives $6.5 Million in Service Grants

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) announced today that Kentucky has received more than $6.5 million in AmeriCorps federal funding for 23 programs with more than 800 total members.

Most of the programs were funded through an annual grant competition by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency that engages Americans of all ages in service. The remaining programs are funded through formula grant funds that are allocated to Kentucky by CNCS based on state population.

AmeriCorps is a national service program administered by the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service (KCCVS) in the CHFS. AmeriCorps grants are awarded to eligible organizations proposing to engage AmeriCorps members in evidence-based or evidence-informed interventions to strengthen communities. Members serve faith-based and nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, local government entities and state agencies.

CHFS Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson said the grants will help address critical issues across the commonwealth – like teaching and tutoring students, combating homelessness, providing drug resistance education, protecting environmental resources, serving veterans and military families, empowering victims of domestic violence and assisting low-income senior citizens.

“This funding will engage Kentuckians across the state in service that will benefit the local needs of thousands of citizens,” Secretary Glisson said. “Service is a wonderful way to build our workforce and our community resources.”

Glisson said that including additional local funding and educational grants, AmeriCorps programs will result in a $16.8 million investment in Kentucky.

“Kentucky AmeriCorps is making an enormous impact, both now and for the future of our Commonwealth,” Glisson said. “I am proud that this funding is strengthening both individuals and entire communities.”

KCCVS Executive Director Joe Bringardner said the 2017 AmeriCorps grant cycle was highly competitive, with a continuing level of strong demand by organizations seeking AmeriCorps resources. The national competition prioritized investments in economic opportunity, opioid prevention, education, governor and mayor initiatives, veterans and military families, disaster services, and initiatives to build safer communities.

“Our programs really demonstrated their community-driven goals in their grant applications,” he said. “These programs have distinct goals to help educate youth, provide comfort to seniors and rebuild families’ lives by providing safe and affordable housing,” he said. “Our AmeriCorps members use their talents, their vision and their boundless energy to establish immediate and long-lasting change in Kentucky.” 

Kentucky received $4.5 million for 11 programs in national competitive grant funding and were also allocated $2 million in formula grant funding to support additional state programs. The law creating AmeriCorps gave a key role to state service commissions in determining how national service resources are used to promote service and volunteering to meet specific community needs. With the state allocation, the KCCVS awarded grants to 12 additional AmeriCorps programs.

AmeriCorps program sponsors are also contributing a total of $6.9 million in local funding matches, money from the private sector, foundations, community partnerships and other sources.

In addition to the grant funding, CNCS will make available nearly $3.4 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants. After completing a full term of service, members receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $5,815 to pay for college or to pay back student loans.

From an economic standpoint, AmeriCorps is a good investment in workforce training. Recent studies show a strong connection between volunteering and employment, particularly in rural areas, where volunteers are 57 percent more likely to find employment. In fact, eight out of 10 alumni say AmeriCorps helped them get a job. Bringardner said AmeriCorps can pave the way to higher education and a selected career for many Kentuckians.

“Kentucky AmeriCorps provides millions of dollars for college,” he said. “This funding provides a path to education and a long-term livelihood. And most members stay in the public service field – their passion to serve is what drives them.”

Since AmeriCorps began in 1994, more than 11,000 Kentuckians have served more than 17 million hours and have received education awards totaling more than $40.8 million. Data collected from the last completed program year reveals that AmeriCorps members recruited more than 27,000 community volunteers who provided an additional 80,000 hours of service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its citizens.

Competitive grants are awarded nationally for fixed time periods for specific projects and costs. Formula grants are awarded by the bipartisan KCCVS commission based on local needs, Governor’s Office priorities, geographic and program diversity, performance measurements and CNCS focus areas. 

Gateway AmeriCorps

Sponsor: Gateway Community & Technical College

CNCS Grant: $63,974 (Formula Cost Reimbursement)

Local Match: $46,489

Member Slots: 22

Ed Awards: $27,098

CNCS Focus Area(s): Capacity Building

Members apply academic knowledge and skills to provide needed direct and indirect services to economically disadvantaged individuals and families through skills-based matched placements at non-profits, local or regional government agencies, or educational settings located in Northern Kentucky.