The Selective Service System and AmeriCorps Forge Partnership Promoting National Service Participation Across America

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Washington, DC, March 08, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, Selective Service acting Director Joel C. Spangenberg and AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the White House to codify their partnership on public awareness strategies and marketing initiatives to promote Americans’ participation in national service opportunities offered by both federal agencies. Tom Perez, Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, participated in today’s Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony.

The Selective Service System and AmeriCorps will work together to launch data-driven public awareness campaigns through digital platforms, media and outreach engagements to inform the public across the nation about opportunities to join AmeriCorps, serve in the US military or with another service organization, and/or volunteer with the Selective Service System as a presidentially appointed local or district board member in the communities where they live. This effort also builds on the Selective Service Systems’ enduring work to assist the Department of Defense’s recruiting efforts in support of America’s all-volunteer force.

Mr. Spangenberg said, “It’s an honor to join AmeriCorps in this effort to promote national service across America. The Selective Service System has already demonstrated its capability to boost awareness of military service opportunities nationwide and we are thrilled to now be expanding our efforts to include national service. These are essential elements for creating a new hub for service for America, where we can elevate military, national, and public service in an integrated way for the first time. This will help us build a stronger future for our nation, as more young people will become aware of service opportunities available to them, begin a service journey, and contribute to the betterment of society.”

"We've seen time and time again, from Hurricane Katrina to the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans enthusiastically support one another without expecting anything in return," said Michael D. Smith, CEO, AmeriCorps. "For 30 years, AmeriCorps has built collaborative efforts with government partners to expand opportunities for all Americans to volunteer. This partnership brings us closer to achieving a widespread culture of service, where individuals have access to meaningful opportunities to serve throughout their lifetime in military, national, and public service."

“Service is service in all its forms, and our country needs to inspire its next generation of public servants,” said Honorable Shawn G. Skelly, Performing the Duties of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. “At the Department of Defense and across the federal government, we are issuing a national call to service that encourages young people to think about the impact they can make beyond themselves, whether in or out of uniform. The whole-of-government approach reflected in today’s Memorandum of Understanding will amplify the value proposition of service and help keep our nation safe and strong.”

Last month, AmeriCorps partnered with Peace Corps to broaden participation in both international and domestic service for Americans from every background and community.

This partnership with the Selective Service System allows AmeriCorps to accelerate and expand recruitment and outreach to introduce even more individuals to the transformative power of service. The Memorandum of Understanding underscores the vision and goals of the White House Interagency Policy Committee on National Service, as well as the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service’s recommendations. The two agencies are committed to building collaborative efforts between governmental partners to cultivate broader awareness of national service and expand opportunities to participate in national service programs.

This initiative promoting national service and volunteerism builds on the collaborative partnership between these two federal agencies, who, in December 2023, signed a separate agreement to work together to help place Alternative Service Workers in civilian jobs with AmeriCorps in the event the nation returned to conscription. To ensure its readiness in active standby status, the Selective Service System routinely works with federal, state and local partners to recruit local board members and maintain a national robust alternative service program.

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AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, provides opportunities for Americans to serve their country domestically, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, improve lives and communities, and strengthen civic engagement. Each year, the agency places more than 200,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in intensive service roles; and empowers millions more to serve as long-term, short-term, or one-time volunteers. Learn more at AmeriCorps.gov.

AmeriCorps offers opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds to be a part of the national service community, grow personally and professionally, and receive benefits for their service. Learn how to get involved at AmeriCorps.gov/Serve.

Federal law requires all male citizens, as well as male non-citizens residing in the U.S., to register with Selective Service System within 30 days of their 18th birthday. At 26, a man becomes too old to register. Those who do not comply are ineligible for numerous benefits, including state-level student financial aid, federal job training and employment, and U.S. citizenship for male immigrants. The Selective Service System seeks volunteers to serve on its Local Boards and as State Resource Volunteers. Interested citizen-volunteers can apply at sss.gov.

Attachment

  • AmeriCorps CEO speaking at MOU signing.

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