AmeriCorps is one of many national service programs administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). One branch of AmeriCorps known as VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), is an anti-poverty program created in 1964 as part of the War on Poverty. AmeriCorps VISTA taps the skills, talents, and passion of more than 7,000 Americans annually to support community efforts to overcome poverty by building capacity and sustainability in nonprofits and local government agencies.
AmeriCorps VISTA has a legacy of bringing about positive change in Fresno County. In 2004, the EDC’s Community Development Department was able to attain a $300,000 USDA Rural Communities Development Initiative Grant. The Department was then granted AmeriCorps VISTAs to facilitate the administration of the grant.
Over the past 8 years, the EDC has been both a host to AmeriCorps VISTAs as well as an intermediary for various sites and their VISTAs throughout Fresno County. During that time partnerships and collaborations have been formed and maintained for the betterment of Fresno County and its residents. We currently have many VISTAs serving with the EDC in various faculties, working to alleviate poverty through economic and community development.
If you want to view more photos of the AmeriCorps team members at work click here.
City of Clovis – VISTA will assist Clovis Community Development Department create sustainable processes/templates for community affordable housing programs.
City of Fresno - VISTA will assist in the implementation, evaluation, communication and housing services in support of the Implementation of the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness, Housing First strategy.
City of Mendota – VISTA will support Westside Fresno County cities to provide business assistance to their respective business communities and develop local youth entrepreneurial training programs.
Five Cities housed at the City of Reedley – The Five Cities VISTA will assist the participating seven municipalities with regional economic development projects.
Fresno CDFI – VISTA will develop and implement a financial literacy certification program that will be administered through the proposed Fresno Community Development Credit Union (CDCU).
Central California Legal Services (CCLS) – VISTA will work to improve economic conditions for low income families in the area by increasing the number of EITC claims and providing information about other public benefit and technical assistance programs.
Clearpoint Credit Consulting – VISTA will assist in the creation of a sustainable infrastructure for increasing Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) investment in Central California.
CMAC- VISTA will design and maintain a program to grow the ability of the Fresno area’s underserved ethnic populations to learn new job skills and improve their education while at the same time giving them the opportunity to tell their stories, share their histories and arts with all Valley residents through the creation and distribution of video programs on public access cable channels and over the internet.
RCI – VISTA will assist in designing and implementing a business development service center that promotes entrepreneurship, creates jobs, and promotes sustainability that will directly benefit the immigrant and low-income participants, particularly those involved in the food industry.
Corporate Locations Analyst VISTA - Develop a technology based campaign to educate businesses, etc. on the opportunities in Fresno County. Utilize e-tools to assist in attracting companies to Fresno County. Assist those companies impacted by the CA High Speed Rail project.
Web Developer VISTA - Expand and maintain a website that will inform and connect businesses to all the services they need in order to best be loan ready and successfully acquire financing assistance.
Fresno Works VISTA - Assist with the coordination of the hiring outreach process; assist with overall community outreach needs including maintenance of the Fresno Works webpage; and assist those businesses that will be potentially displaced by the HSR project.
Interested in serving in AmeriCorps? Check out position descriptions for all AmeriCorps programs here!
For more information about the EDC’s regional AmeriCorps VISTA program and to inquire about being a potential host site in the future, please contact Devon Jones at (559) 476-2510 or email@example.com.