Philadelphia, November 18, 2013 – City of Philadelphia officials were joined by William C. Basl, National Director of AmeriCorps for the Corporation for National and Community Service, and State leaders to announce the launch of PowerCorpsPHL. This innovative new AmeriCorps program is designed to achieve environmental stewardship goals shared by Mayor Nutter and Governor Corbett, and to enhance the City of Philadelphia’s youth workforce development and violence prevention strategies.
“The mission of PowerCorpsPHL supports the City’s goals of becoming America’s greenest city, increasing workforce development for young adults, and decreasing youth violence,” said Everett Gillison, Chief of Staff and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety. “Even though they have made mistakes in their young lives, PowerCorpsPHL members now have an opportunity to gain valuable skills while giving back to our neighborhoods through service projects with City departments. I am proud to launch PowerCorpsPHL today and I congratulate the members for choosing to make a meaningful change in their lives and their communities.”
Partnering with EducationWorks and the Philadelphia Youth Network (PYN), PowerCorpsPHL will annually enroll 100 individuals, ages 18-26, who are recruited from the following partners: Youth Violence Reduction Partnership (YVRP), Mayor’s Office of Reintegration Services (RISE), Department of Human Services (DHS) – Achieving Independence Center, PYN’s E3 Centers and YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter High School.
Over the course of 9-months, PowerCorpsPHL participants will complete 6 months of full-time service as AmeriCorps members with either Philadelphia Parks and Recreation or the Philadelphia Water Department. Following their term of service, they will receive 3 months of intensive post-service placement support, guided through a partnership with PYN.
“I’ve made sacrifices to be a part of PowerCorpsPHL because the program showed me that it’s not all about the money,” said Robert Bass, PowerCorpsPHL member recruited from YVRP. “I realize that the training and experience I’m getting now will put me in the position to be financially stable in the future so that I can take care of my son. For now, it’s about helping out our city. I feel proud when neighbors stop by our service sites and thank us for the work we’re doing to better their community.”
During the next three years, 300 PowerCorpsPHL members are projected to plant 3,000 trees, revitalize 3,000 acres of public land, and educate 18,000 residents in watershed preservation – all while preparing for meaningful employment, post-secondary education, and/or continued national service opportunities.
“I commend Mayor Nutter and Governor Corbett in using more AmeriCorps resources to meet the city’s sustainability goals,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps. “They know what Governors and Mayors across the country know: that AmeriCorps works – it solves problems, strengthens communities, and expands opportunity for those who serve.”
Bill Basl, director of AmeriCorps, said, “AmeriCorps members are an indispensable resource for nonprofits, communities, and the individuals they serve. Through PowerCorpsPHL, Philadelphia will be able to tackle its most pressing environmental challenges while cultivating the next generation of leaders, innovators, and problem solvers for the city.”
The AmeriCorps Governor and Mayor Initiative provides new opportunities for state and local officials to work together on public-private partnerships. Together, governors and mayors use AmeriCorps members to address identified challenges or needs within their community.
For more information, visit www.PowerCorpsPHL.com. Stories of service projects completed across the city, and ongoing opportunities to volunteer alongside PowerCorpsPHL members, are shared on a regular basis at www.facebook.com/PowerCorpsPHL and on Twitter @PowerCorpsPHL.