This month, the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) announces its second year of participation in the Resilience AmeriCorps Pilot Program- an innovative effort to engage AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) members in ongoing recovery and resiliency initiatives across the nation.
As the only State agency to partner in the undertaking, GOSR enables VISTA members to receive a unique look into New York’s own recovery and resiliency projects, as it continues to invest $4.4 billion in federal Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding through its comprehensive portfolio of NY Rising Programs.
Over the past year, GOSR has had two VISTA members embedded in its office, and now invites interested individuals to apply for three open positions as part of the next round of service, which will span the period between February 21, 2017 and February 16, 2018. The deadline for all applications will be Friday, January 13, 2017.
“Every day, GOSR demonstrates its unwavering commitment to helping the State become stronger and more resilient than ever before,” said Chelsea Muller, a NY Rising Community Reconstruction (NYRCR) Program Senior Program Manager who is managing the agency’s participation in the Resilience AmeriCorps Program. “The Resilience AmeriCorps Program has proven to be natural complement to the work that we do on a daily basis. We are thrilled to continue our involvement in this awesome partnership, and expand its reach to GOSR’s affordable housing work."
As a collaboration between the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Department of Energy (DOE), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Rockefeller Foundation, Cities of Service, and municipalities nationwide− the Resilience AmeriCorps Pilot works to recruit, train and embed AmeriCorps VISTA members to address the new reality of extreme weather. The two-year program responds to a recommendation made by the State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience regarding the provision of assistance to vulnerable communities that lack the capacity to execute climate-resilience planning and implementation. At GOSR, the AmeriCorps VISTA members have specifically sought to increase civic engagement in low-income areas, while helping communities become more resilient for future extreme weather events.
“Building comprehensive resilience against severe storm events is so important for enhancing and preserving the livelihoods of New Yorkers,” said current Resilience AmeriCorps Member, Sara Chin. “I have been very excited to be part of GOSR’s ongoing recovery and resiliency work, and have been extremely grateful to be placed with such a passionate team.”
Founded in 1965 as a national service program, AmeriCorps VISTA sets out to fight poverty in America through the expansion of organizational, administrative and financial capacity. VISTA members contribute their talents to organizations that improve literacy, provide health services, foster economic development, and aid low-income communities.
“This year, I have been aligning the goals of this great State with the larger national Resilience AmeriCorps narrative,” added current Resilience AmeriCorps Member, Leigh Scudder. “It has been an awesome experience to be able to learn so much, while supporting New York as a model of resilience for the nation and the world.”
AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 Americans in intensive service each year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. Since the program’s founding in 1994, more than 900,000 AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1.2 billion hours in service across America while tackling pressing problems and mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve.
Interested individuals may apply to the three following open positions:
Resilience AmeriCorps Affordable Housing VISTA:
Support GOSR's affordable housing initiatives, facilitating resiliency discussions with stakeholders and building the capacity of public housing authorities.
Resilience AmeriCorps Implementation Analyst VISTA:
Support GOSR to expand impact of community-created projects and develop workforce and youth engagement social resilience components of Rebuild By Design (RBD) projects.
Resilience AmeriCorps Nonprofit Liaison VISTA:
Measure, enhance and communicate the work of GOSR's nonprofit partners, with particular focus on a recovery and preparedness social resilience initiative.
Learn more about the Resilience AmeriCorps Pilot Program by visiting http://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/resilience-americorps.