Newsletter – February 2011

Corporation for National and Community Service releases 2011-2015 Strategic Plan

Corporation for National and Community Service logo On February 8, 2011, the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) unanimously approved the agency’s 2011-2015 Strategic Plan.

The Strategic Plan provides a roadmap for using national service to address critical challenges facing our communities and our nation. It builds on the strong foundation of national service that has developed over the past four decades and the vision set forth in the bipartisan Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act of 2009.

The plan recognizes the critical role that CNCS and the network it supports plays in engaging millions of Americans in sustained service to solve community problems, supporting our most vulnerable citizens, strengthening the voluntary sector, and transforming lives. It also calls on all those involved in national service to lead and operate at the highest level of accountability, integrity and transparency.

The plan lays out four strategic goals:

  • Increase the impact of national service on community needs in communities served by CNCS-supported programs
  • Strengthen national service so that participants engaged in CNCS-supported programs consistently find satisfaction, meaning and opportunity
  • Maximize the value we add to grantees, partners and participants
  • Fortify management operations and sustain a capable, responsive and accountable organization

The plan recognizes that national service will have its greatest impact by targeting resources on a core set of critical problems and carefully measuring progress. It prioritizes six major challenges facing communities: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families. It also provides strategies and performance measures to evaluate success over the next five years.

For more information on CNCS and the strategic plan, please visit on:

New Chair Named for CA State Citizen Corps Council

Citizen Corps logo At its most recent meeting on January 27, 2011, the California State Citizen Corps Council (CSCCC) named Captain Stacy Gerlich of the Los Angeles Fire Department as its new chair. Previously serving as vice chair, Captain Gerlich will serve a one-year term in her new role. During that time, Captain Gerlich plans to collaboratively develop strategies to help CSCCC function more effectively and to continue building on past achievements. She envisions leveraging technology to institute greater networking opportunities and unity within the Council, as well as to help advance the mission of the CSCCC. After serving nearly 21 years in the Los Angeles Fire Department as a paramedic, CERT instructor, and Battalion Captain, the CSCCC is in good hands with Captain Gerlich as its chair.

State Farm Youth Advisory Board Grant Opportunity

State Farm Youth Advisory Board logo The State Farm Youth Advisory Board is providing $5 million in service-learning grants to youth across the United States and Canada in an effort to create projects that bring about sustainable, positive change in local communities. Youth in public schools, or youth associated with a 501(c)3 organization, have the opportunity to apply for grants ranging from $25,000-$100,000 to help their implementation of a school-based service-learning program that ties into an existing K-12 curriculum, and relates to one of the following focus areas: Driver Safety, Environmental Responsibility, Financial Literacy, Access to Higher Education, and Natural or Societal Disaster Preparedness.

Grant applications are available starting February 1st at:

CaliforniaVolunteers Policy Corner

CaliforniaVolunteers logo CaliforniaVolunteers monitors state and federal policy that impacts service and volunteering in California. You can find resources and information on our website in the Public Policy Section.

Federal Policy

Federal Appropriations – Fiscal Year 2011
The federal government is currently functioning under a Continuing Resolution for the Fiscal Year 2011 that ends on March 4, 2011. On February 5, the House voted to completely eliminate the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). This targets AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Learn and Serve, NCCC and AmeriCorps VISTA for zero funding nationwide. H.R. 1 will go to the Senate the week of February 28 for debate.
The U.S. Senate is attempting to extend the Current Resolution to March 31 so that negotiation can take place between the House and the Senate. Please stay tuned or check our website for additional updates on this matter.

Fiscal Year 2012
On February 14, 2011, President Obama released his federal budget request for FY2012. This request would fund the government beginning on October 1, 2011. Please click here for an overview of the CNCS budget requested by the President. The President requested an increase from FY2010 funding in the Corporation’s budget.

State Policy

Prevailing Wage Exemption for Volunteers in California

Under state labor laws effective in 2003, there were strict limits on donated labor for public works projects which limited volunteers and service members from working community projects that could be classified as public works. This meant that volunteers that wanted to work on projects classified as “public works” such as, tree plantings, habitat restoration, school beautifications, etc., were required to be paid a prevailing wage. A local volunteer organization was fined $33,000 in 2003 for failing to pay volunteers a prevailing wage for their service restoring a local creek bed.

In 2004, in response to these limits, the Legislature passed AB 2690, which exempted volunteers from the prevailing wage requirement. As a result of this legislation, volunteers were able to serve in their communities on public works projects. This bill contained a sunset clause that expired on January 1, 2009. In 2008, the Legislature passed AB 2537, which extended the sunset on this exemption through January 1, 2012.
CaliforniaVolunteers is currently working to ensure that the sunset date is either extended or eliminated completely.

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