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November 30, 2010 - 2:56pm

Local Americorps to gain new priorities in near future

posted by Howard B. Owens in Americorps.

Changes are afoot for Genesee County's Americorps program, Kathy Frank told the Human Services Committee on Monday.

americorpLogo.jpgFirst, all new applicants will need to go through an FBI background check, not just the state criminal background check required in previous years, and the federal government is looking for local programs to better align with six primary areas of focus.

"The signs are pretty clear that if we're going to compete for funding, we need to be more aligned with these national performance measures," Frank said.

Frank is in charge of the local Americorps programs.

Americorps members provide services and help to local agencies, including youth programs, community outreach, library work and other social programs. Members are paid and can also earn credits to pay for education, or pay down student loans. The program is open to anybody 17 and up and members who are 55 or older can transfer college grants to children or grandchildren.

The county program runs on about a $300,000 annual budget, with more than $186,000 being paid by federal grants, Frank said, and the rest is covered by contributions from the agencies that use Americorps members.

There are current 46 members.

The new national priorities for Americorps focuses on education, a healthy future, financial opportunities, the environment, veterans and disaster preparedness.

Frank said anybody who would like to join Americorps should call 344-3960.

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