(PITTSBURGH) March 16, 2012 Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today announced that the City will be seeking five year-round and six summer AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) members to support a variety of servePGH initiatives. These positions will involve work on several service initiatives designed to impact Pittsburgh neighborhoods and youth. Full-time applications will be accepted until May 1, 2012, or until the positions are filled. Summer applications will be accepted until April 17, 2012, or until the positions are filled.
“The AmeriCorps VISTA members will work with the City departments and partners to honor my commitment to engage more residents in community service, and to harness the power of volunteers to address Pittsburgh’s most pressing challenges,” said Ravenstahl. “We’ve seen the significant impact that these members have made and are excited to continue this opportunity. During these difficult economic times, we welcome the dedication of VISTA members and acknowledge the importance of their service.”
Last year, 375 AmeriCorps members’ contributed a $2 million economic impact in the City of Pittsburgh through service and volunteerism. Volunteers recruited by AmeriCorps members have devoted over 40,500 hours of service to underserved communities and understaffed nonprofits; assisted over 8,700 low-income residents with job training services and home repairs; collected nearly 3 tons of litter; and mentored over 8,600 youth. Four AmeriCorps VISTA members in the Mayor’s office organized volunteers to beautify 50 City blocks; weatherize and restore over 20 homes of veterans, seniors and disabled residents; and maintain 20 half-mile zones of City streets.
The 11 available positions were made possible through a successful application to the Corporation for National and Community Service’s (CNCS) AmeriCorps VISTA program.
Full-time applications are being accepted for a Neighborhood Service Associate, Youth Service Associate, Civic Engagement Associate, Volunteer Service Associate, and Community Engagement Associate. These associates will serve full-time in the Mayor’s Office of Service and Civic Engagement for one year, beginning July 2012. Successful applicants will be given the unique opportunity to gain professional experience in City government, community organizing, partnership building and neighborhood revitalization.
Summer full-time positions will support various youth-related summer programs, at locations outside of the Mayor’s office, for 10 weeks, beginning June 11, 2012. Successful applicants will gain professional experience in event planning and program development, working closely with the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation.
To find out how to become an AmeriCorps VISTA, and to review job requirements for the full-time positions, click here; for the summer positions, click here.
Mayor Ravenstahl launched servePGH in March 2011 to engage Pittsburgh’s citizens in service and answer President Obama’s national call to volunteerism. Through seven new and innovative servePGH initiatives, Mayor Ravenstahl has engaged citizens in volunteer-fueled solutions to revitalize City blocks, restore vulnerable residents’ homes, help middle-school youth navigate life’s challenges, and more. Over 1,000 volunteers have committed 4,500 hours of service through servePGH to date. Additional information is available at servepgh.pittsburghpa.gov.
Mayor Ravenstahl is a founding member of Cities of Service, a bipartisan coalition of more than 100 mayors from across the country dedicated to engaging more Americans in community service and harnessing the power of volunteers as a serious strategy to address local challenges. Founded in New York City, the coalition and its member cities respond to the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act's historic call to action by finding new and innovative ways to harness the power of volunteers to help solve pressing local challenges.
ABOUT AMERICORPS VISTA
AmeriCorps VISTA members commit to serve full-time for a year at a nonprofit organization or local government agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve health services, create businesses, strengthen community groups, with the ultimate goal to eliminate poverty in the United States. In Pennsylvania, there are currently over 200 VISTAs serving on 30 projects.