FRESNO – A day before Governor Gavin Newsom is scheduled to deliver remarks at the California Economic Summit in Fresno, the state’s Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday will announce an unprecedented $13.1 million investment in the San Joaquin Valley and attend a workshop for grant recipients to discuss how they are making a difference in their communities.
“I’m thrilled to announce that California Volunteers will be making an unprecedented investment in the economy, health and education throughout the Central Valley,” said Fryday. “Governor Newsom’s commitment to support and expand service opportunities in California will allow us to serve more communities and solve pressing challenges around the state.”
Supported by partners including the Fresno Center, California Teaching Fellows Foundation, Equality California Institute, Porterville Unified School District, and Community Action of Kern, nearly 600 Californians, recruited from their communities, will commit to a year of service in over 200 locations across the region. They’ll join the more than 4,000 AmeriCorps members serving throughout the state.
With this investment, new service members will address critical community needs throughout the region by providing needed support in low-income schools, increasing healthcare access for those in need, promoting restorative justice, enhancing social-emotional wellness, and mentoring first-generation students as they navigate high school and transition to and through college.
As part of Governor Newsom’s vision for a California For All, the 2019-20 California State Budget included $20 million to expand the state’s AmeriCorps program by creating 471 new full-time and part-time service opportunities and to increase the education award for individuals serving a full year of service in a state-supported AmeriCorps program to $10,000. Of the $20 million appropriated, $9.42 million was allocated for local assistance grants and $9.3 million was available to supplement the AmeriCorps federal education award for AmeriCorps members completing a full year of service. The state’s investment of $9.42 million in local assistance grant funds is being matched by $4.5 million in federal funds and $4.3 million in private funds.
The first phase of this investment prioritized funding to support new AmeriCorps programs serving the San Joaquin Valley. This region was selected as the geographic focus for the first phase of the investment based on meeting the criteria of being the economic region with the highest need and lowest AmeriCorps footprint in the state.