Governor Bullock Announces Montana as First State in the West to Become Employer of National Service

Montana Encouraging AmeriCorps and Peace Corps Alumni to Explore Careers with State Government

Helena, MT—Today, Governor Steve Bullock announced that Montana is the first state in the west, and the second in the nation, to become an Employer of National Service. As an Employer of National Service, the State of Montana is taking steps to encourage AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni to apply for careers with Montana state government.

“AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni in Montana have an invaluable work ethic and transferrable skills to communities throughout the state, all while embodying the commitment to help their neighbors in need,” said Governor Steve Bullock. “I am proud that the state is taking steps to keep these dedicated Montanans in Montana, so that we can engage an energetic workforce and build a more effective government.”

Governor Bullock made the announcement alongside Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, during their keynote addresses at the annual ServeMontana Symposium yesterday evening. They were joined by AmeriCorps members serving in Montana, the Commission on Community Service, and AmeriCorps VISTA alumni.

“By taking this step, Montana is making a smart move to attract talented, dedicated, and experienced leaders to work in state government,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.  “I applaud Governor Bullock for his leadership in making Montana an Employer of National Service. His actions send a signal around the country that Montana wants AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni to put their skills and experience to work on behalf of all Montanans.”

“Returned Peace Corps volunteers and AmeriCorps alumni have the skills, dedication and commitment that employers today are looking for,” Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said. “The state of Montana has a rich history with the Peace Corps, and we are grateful for Governor Bullock’s support to further our collaboration so volunteers can continue their service in Montana communities.”

Governor Bullock announced that the Montana Department of Administration has taken two important steps as part of the state becoming an Employer of National Service. First, the homepage of the Montana state career website (statecareers.mt.gov) has been updated to include language encouraging AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni to continue their lifetime of service by exploring career opportunities with Montana state government. Additionally, the Montana Department of Administration has added a question to the state recruitment system that allows AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni to indicate their national service alumni status when applying for jobs with state government.

In his address, Governor Bullock told state agencies that AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni are highly-qualified individuals that bring additional skills and value to the workplace. He also stated that the Montana Department of Administration and the Montana Governor’s Office of Community Service will continue to review opportunities to recruit and connect the talent of AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni to state government in the coming months.

Altogether, more than 1.1 million Americans have served in AmeriCorps and Peace Corps. Since 1994, more than 8,800 AmeriCorps members have served more than 8.5 million hours in Montana. This year, 520 AmeriCorps members are providing intensive, results-driven service to meet education, environmental, health, economic, and other pressing community needs across Montana.

Approximately 40 citizens from Montana are currently serving as Peace Corps volunteers around the world. A total of almost 1,400 Montana volunteers have served in the Peace Corps since it was established in 1961. In 2014, Montana ranked 7th in the nation per capita for sending Peace Corps volunteers, with Missoula ranking 2nd per capita among metropolitan areas.

Since its launch, more than 170 companies, nonprofits, and public agencies have signed on as Employers of National Service. Virginia was the first state to sign on. Disney, Comcast, CSX, Sodexo, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, and the cities of Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Nashville have also signed on to be Employers of National Service.

For more information on becoming an Employer of National Service visit nationalservice.gov/employers, or contact employers@cns.gov.

The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service and champions community solutions through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund Programs, and leads the President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.

The Peace Corps sends the best and brightest Americans abroad on behalf of the United States to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Volunteers work at the grassroots level to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their service, volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today’s global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, nearly 220,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.peacecorps.gov.

The Governor’s Office of Community Service expands and promotes national service and volunteerism in Montana and engages citizens in service and emergency preparedness. For more information, visit serve.mt.gov.

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