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Dear President Obama and Governor Romney:

Our country needs nurses, teachers, disaster relief workers, park restoration, infrastructure repair, and more. Yet 1 in 2 young Americans are currently jobless or underemployed.

Pledge to create one million new national service positions by expanding programs such as AmeriCorps, VISTA, City Year, Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, and others so we can serve and rebuild our country now.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]

THE PROBLEM

46%

Young Americans who are currently employed – the highest level since World War II. 

1.34 MILLION

Young Americans who will graduate college without a job this year. 

1 MILLION

Number of applications rejected from AmeriCorps due to lack of positions the past two years 

 

THE OPPORTUNITY

2.2 MILLION

Public health positions in current or future need for the aging baby boomer population. 

745,600

Positions needed in teaching and education fields throughout the next decade. 

50%

Non-profit leadership positions that will be vacated by retirees in the next decade. 

 

THE ANSWER

We propose solving the problem by seizing the opportunity to create ONE MILLION NEW NATIONAL SERVICE POSITIONS through expanding AmeriCorps and its affiliated programs.

THE GOAL

Obtain ONE MILLION SIGNATURES to show the presidential candidates and Congress that the voices of those who support this initative are too loud to ignore.

WHY IT WORKS

AMERICORPS = PROVEN TRACK RECORD

Seven independent analyses of AmeriCorps verify that the benefits outweigh the costs. For every $1 invested, an average of $1.95 in benefit is generated.

Bipartisan Support

Throughout its history AmeriCorps has been championed by Democrats and Republicans alike, with major cosponsors including Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Thad Cochran (R-MI ), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and many more.

Good for a generation

Solves problems by getting young Americans to work in critical areas, promoting training, and preventing crime and reliance on welfare programs.

1. Who is behind this campaign?

OURTIME.org in partnership with ServeNext. OUR TIME is a national non-profit with over 300,000 members that promote economic and political empowerment for young Americans. ServeNext is a grassroots advocacy organization working to make national service a political and national priority.

2. What are national service jobs?


National service jobs allow young Americans to address critical social issues in education, health, housing, economic development, the environment, and disaster relief. These jobs enable qualified Americans to serve the country for up to two years through organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, City Year, and many others, while providing young Americans with valuable professional skills and leadership experience.

3. What exactly are these jobs?

National service jobs will allow young Americans to address critical social issues in six priority areas: education, economic development, the environment, disaster relief, health, and veterans’ services. Examples include:

  • Education: Teaching in classrooms through Teach for America and tutoring students in public schools through organizations like City Year
  • Economic Development: Assisting communities in a variety of social programs aimed at increasing economic opportunities for individuals. Examples include running financial literacy programs for adults and youth and building houses with Habitat for Humanity
  • Environment: Promote environmental stewardship through activities such as clearing and maintaining trails and promoting green jobs for the future in organizations such as The Corps Network
    Disaster Relief: Work to clean-up and rebuild communities after national disasters. Examples include working with the Red Cross and FEMA.
  • Health: Working to promote good community health practices. Examples include building a garden at local public schools or teaching families about healthy foods in their communities through organizations such as the Community Health Corps.
  • Veterans’ Services: Working to provide services for veterans and their families; Examples include helping to connect recently returned veterans with jobs, housing, and health care in organizations such as the American Legion Auxiliary.

4. Why focus on jobs in national service?

  • One, because National service jobs address urgent challenges facing the country while putting young Americans to work
  • Two, these jobs are in high demand. In 2010 and 2011 alone, nearly one million AmeriCorps applications were rejected.
  • Three, national service programs have a demonstrated history of success providing professional development for young Americans, as well as for the communities being served.
  • And four, national service has a legacy of bipartisan support. It is something that both parties can rally behind and make a national priority right now.

5. Why one million jobs and one million signatures?

Because presenting Barack Obama and Mitt Romney with one million signatures will be a statement that is impossible to ignore. These one million signatures, along with campaign mobilization, will illustrate how committed we are to success.

A CNN editorial by Michael Brown and David Gergen said it best: “The millennial generation is staring into the abyss of a decade lost, dreams shattered. Experts say the negative effects of long-term joblessness, low earnings, and rusted skills could haunt this generation for the rest of their lives.” With the stakes so high, we need bold action. We need one million new jobs.

6. How much will this cost?

A full-time national service position, based on AmeriCorps data, costs the government $18,500 per year. $13,000 is for the position itself, and the remaining $5,500 is for an academic scholarship.

These positions are funded with both public and private dollars. For example in 2010-2011, AmeriCorps received $475 million in federal support and leveraged an additional $480 million from other sources.

7. Is the campaign bipartisan?

Yes. We want to see both parties come together to address youth unemployment by increasing opportunities for young Americans to serve the country. National service has a history of bipartisan support, and we believe that both parties can unite behind a campaign for service jobs.

8. What is AmeriCorps?

AmeriCorps is our nation’s biggest national service program. Since its inception, AmeriCorps has enabled more than 775,000 Americans to serve through a national network of thousands of nonprofit organizations, including City Year, Habitat for Humanity, Teach for America, and many others. AmeriCorps members address critical needs in communities through the country in education, health, housing, economic development, the environment, and disaster response.

9. Can national service help with student loan repayment?

Yes. Upon completing a full-time year of service with AmeriCorps, you receive a scholarship of $5,500 for loan repayment or additional schooling. AmeriCorps employees are also eligible for loan forbearance and for two education awards.

10. Does this relate to the Serve America Act?

President Obama, with strong bipartisan support, signed the Serve America Act in 2009. It authorized historic expansion of national service programs, including AmeriCorps, through 2017. However, each year Congress votes on funding levels and, sadly, has decided to cut into service program funding. This campaign aims to reenergize political support for national service and get it growing again.

11. How can I volunteer?

Click on the “How Can You Help Tab” and fill out our Volunteer submission form. Once you send us your information, we will be in touch to get you started!

12. I have additional questions. Who can I contact?

You may email us at info@ourtime.org or call us at 202-347-7484.




OneMillionNewJobs.org is a campaign of OUR TIME in partnership with ServeNext in addition to a wide variety of other groups who support the expansion of jobs for youth and national service.

OUR TIME is a national non-profit with over 300,000 members that promotes economic and political empowerment for young Americans. ServeNext is a grassroots advocacy organization working to make national service a political and national priority.
Contact Information
info@ourtime.org
Office phone number: 202-347-7484

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