Why Align Americorps and Workforce Development?
AmeriCorps is a national service program that engages individuals in service to communities. While serving, AmeriCorps members gain valuable skills and experience, earn a living allowance and an education award, and additional benefits. Aligning AmeriCorps programs with workforce development can create career pathways and additional benefits for both AmeriCorps members and communities.
Benefits to AmeriCorps members
Increased living allowance
Mentorship and support
Gain a no- or low-cost education
Benefits to Communities
Increased participation and diversity of AmeriCorps participation
Address talent shortages and develop skills demanded by industry
Increased support for sites hosting AmeriCorps members
Funding is available to help create or expand into a combined AmeriCorps and Workforce development program. Serve Colorado is dedicated to increasing opportunities for members and supporting the State’s workforce. Read more about resources availble below.
AmeriCorps and Apprenticeship
In 2022, Trailhead Institute and Serve Colorado worked with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to establish a Public Health AmeriCorps + Community Health Worker Registered Apprenticeship Program known as the Colorado Public Health Works (CPHW) program. This combination allows participants to reap the benefits of both programs in a single year. This pilot program is housed within a public health institute designed to administer funds and technical assistance for local public health agencies. CPHW Members serve at local public health agencies.
In response to other programs interested in developing their own AmeriCorps + Registered Apprenticeship program, Serve Colorado and Trailhead have developed a guide to provide the basic steps needed to explore and create such a program. Paired with the Colorado Public Health Works (CPHW) case study, the guide walks through how CPHW navigated the requirements for AmeriCorps and Registered Apprenticeship to create a combined workforce development program.
Colorado Funding Resources for Planning an AmeriCorps Apprenticeship Programs
The Office of the Future of Work (OFW) under the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE), is opening an application for the second cycle of their Scale-Up Grants on April 7, 2023. Scale-Up Grants are awards of up to $50,000 to develop or expand a Registered Apprenticeship Program. Applicants that demonstrate a plan to include Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in their apprenticeship design will be more competitive. Read more about the Scale-Up Grant opportunity on the Apprenticeship Funding Opportunities page.
Serve Colorado AmeriCorps Planning Grants
Serve Colorado Planning Grants offer organizations grants of up to $150,000 to help organizations develop new, or expand current, AmeriCorps programs to address community challenges. Planning Grants are accepted year-round and reviewed five times per year. Organizations focused on creating or integrating workforce development pathways, are BIPOC led and serving, or are looking to establish a rural intermediary will receive priority. More information about the current Request for Application (RFA) can be found on Serve Colorado's Planning Grant funding page.
Work-Based Learning Incentive Program
The Work-Based Learning Incentive (WBLI) Program through the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) is accepting applications for reimbursements of up to $10,000. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and awarded by a first-come, first-served basis through May 2024.
Organizations "interested in growing and diversifying Colorado’s experiential learning system to create new or enhance existing work-based learning programs for youth and adults" are invited to apply. To learn more, visit CDLE's WBLI webpage.
Additional Workforce Development AmeriCorps Programs in Colorado
- Colorado Public Health Works This public health program places AmeriCorps members in a combined Community Health Worker Registered Apprenticeship Program to provide capacity building support and technical assistance to local public health agencies across Colorado.
- Teacher Pipeline In partnership with the Colorado Department of Education, this program supports 2nd year AmeriCorps members to complete an alternative licensure teacher preparation program. Members will support critical classroom shortages while attaining a teaching license in their 2nd year of service.