Governor Lamont Announces ConnectiCorps Service Opportunity
Program will Bolster Capacity of Connecticut Nonprofits Engaged in COVID-19 Response
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont, in partnership with the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, today announced the launch of ConnectiCorps, a new community service program set to launch in August that will help address the growing demand on essential services provided by Connecticut’s nonprofits in the areas of food security, housing, and antipoverty assistance.
An AmeriCorps program, it will offer an opportunity for high-impact service in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and will provide a modest income and a stipend for higher-education costs for young adults in Connecticut. ConnectiCorps is funded by a significant grant from the Hartford Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund and an AmeriCorps state and federal grant approved by Serve Connecticut (the Connecticut Commission on Community Service, which is part of the Connecticut Office of Higher Education).
ConnectiCorps members will serve at nonprofits across the state with a focus on the greater Hartford region. In particular, the program will seek to recruit members who live in the community they wish to serve. This approach will strengthen the bond between the community and its residents, while helping to address one of the most catastrophic public health events in history.
Governor Lamont said, “I’m grateful to the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance and the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving for their leadership and creativity in developing and launching this critical program. Nonprofits across the state are on the frontlines of the COVID emergency, providing critically needed services to vulnerable people across Connecticut. The ConnectiCorps program is a great way to provide support to those nonprofits and to offer to our young people the opportunity for public service in these times of great challenge to our communities.”
Gian-Carl Casa, President and CEO of the Alliance, said, “The Alliance is excited to lead this important program. Community nonprofits play a critically important role in meeting the needs of Connecticut residents most severely hit by this public health emergency. As many of us sheltered-in-place they have been on the front lines. We are grateful to AmeriCorps, the Hartford Foundation, Serve Connecticut and the Office of the Governor for their support of this innovative way to help nonprofits during this challenging time.”
Jay Williams, CEO of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, said, “The Hartford Foundation is pleased to provide funding for this important program – both to support nonprofits that provide critically needed assistance to our most vulnerable neighbors, and because ConnectiCorps offers an important opportunity for Connecticut residents to engage in service to their community, and to be part of our state’s response to the COVID crisis.”
Jason Jakubowski, President of Foodshare, said, “Foodshare is thrilled at the prospect of participating in the ConnectiCorps program. We’ve had a significant increase in the need for the support we provide to address food security issues related to COVID, at the very time that many of our volunteers are unable to serve as they did before. The extra support provided by the ConnectiCorps members will be a big help to us in meeting the needs of the clients we serve.”
Jacqueline Johnson, Executive Director of Serve Connecticut, said, “ConnectiCorps is an exciting initiative that can mobilize up to 80 AmeriCorps members to enhance the capacity of nonprofits through strategic volunteer generation activities as Connecticut responds to and recovers from COVID-19. The model proposed by the Alliance has the makings of becoming a national ‘how-to’ manual on building and sustaining volunteer capacity through any unexpected crisis. Serve Connecticut is thrilled to be at the forefront of this effort.”
ConnectiCorps quick facts:
- ConnectiCorps will place 60 to 80 part-time members, who will provide between 70,000 and 90,000 total hours of service at up to 20 nonprofit sites.
- Members will receive a modest stipend and mileage reimbursement, and will be eligible for a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award upon completion of their service year, which can be used to repay qualified student loans or offset current tuition costs at eligible institutions of higher education and training programs.
- Members will be provided with uniforms, hand sanitizer, COVID-safety training and PPE to ensure safe and consistent service.
- Duties of members will include: reviewing/updating host-site COVID-19 safety protocols, deploying creative approaches to safely recruit and retain volunteers, and providing temporary direct service relief for operations at host site.
The governor welcomes the participation of additional philanthropic organizations in the ConnectiCorps program to increase the reach of this critical program, as more funding would mean additional service hours and more communities served.
For more information about ConnectiCorps, please visit the Alliance's website at ctnonprofitalliance.org.
About Serve Connecticut and AmeriCorps
Serve Connecticut, the Connecticut Commission on Community Service, is a department of the Connecticut Office of Higher Education. Its mission is to strengthen Connecticut communities through national service resources, community engagement, and volunteerism. Serve Connecticut administers AmeriCorps state funding in the State of Connecticut. Each year, Serve Connecticut AmeriCorps members provide more than 400,000 hours of national service to programs that tackle issues that matter in Connecticut. For more information about Serve Connecticut, visit www.serveCT.org. AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs and leads the nation's volunteering and service efforts. For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov.