Guest Blog by James Griffin, Assistant Program Director, for AmeriCorps NCCC Pacific Region
Do you have a project that you could finish if only you had a few more people around to help out? What could you accomplish if you had an energetic group of young adults working with your organization for several weeks? AmeriCorps NCCC may be able to help!
What is AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC)?
AmeriCorps NCCC is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a Federal Agency, which administers the various Senior Corps and AmeriCorps programs nationwide. NCCC is a branch of the AmeriCorps programs that also includes AmeriCorps VISTA and AmeriCorps State/National. Specifically, the NCCC program is about:
- Direct service: Helping you get that long list of projects that require a couple extra hands to accomplish. See a list of example projects below.
- Team based: Who can’t use an extra 10 people to help with project work to benefit the community? Teams have generally about 9-12 members.
- Short term: Projects range from about 4-12 weeks long. However, with a team of energetic 18-24 year olds, A LOT of service projects can be accomplished in this short amount of time!
In short, AmeriCorps NCCC teams are extra “people power” that can make quite the impact in your community through their service projects.
What are some examples of NCCC projects?
NCCC teams can do just about any type of service projects. Here are several examples of great NCCC projects:
- Infrastructure improvements like painting or renovating a community center
- Community gardening and food bank support
- Construction of low-income housing
- Disaster-related projects (mitigation, preparedness, recovery, response)
- Homeless shelter and soup kitchen support
- Taxes for low income individuals
- Trail maintenance and other environmental projects
- After school and camp programming and mentoring/tutoring of youth
- And MUCH more!! It’s even better when a project includes several smaller projects across the whole community. These community partnership projects allow our teams have an even greater, and broader, impact in the community.
What is the “cost”/requirements of having a team support your community?
The NCCC program is not a fee for service program, so there is no direct cost to an organization to host an NCCC team. However, there are a few requirements to hosting a team, including:
1. Enough meaningful work for the team: NCCC is a full-time, team-based program. Each team has anywhere from 9-12 members, and each member has to work 40 hours a week. So that is A LOT of hours that need to be filled with project work. Partnering with other community organizations is a great option to keep the team busy and get the most done!
2. Supervision of the team: the team does have a Team Leader, also a member of our program, who handles all the paperwork for the team, and is the liaison between the team and the organization. However, the team does need project work supervision. This can vary based on the type of work the team may be doing – invasive species removal = maybe less direct supervision; hanging dry wall or roofing a house = much more supervision needed.
3. Project work training: all of our members are 18-24 year olds and come from a wide background of education and work experience. So, any type of work that the members would be doing on the project, they need to be trained how to do it by the sponsoring organization.
4. Housing for a team: this is generally the hardest thing for an organization to meet, so it does not need to be fancy. The team essentially needs three things for housing:
a. A place to sleep; and we can come with cots, sleeping bags, etc
b. Access to bathrooms and showers
c. Access to a kitchen because we give them a food budget to cook their own meals as a team
Some housing example options include a church, empty school rooms, rented apartments, and camp cabins. Again, we are flexible with housing, so feel free to reach out and we can discuss options.
How does an organization go about getting the assistance of an NCCC team to support your community?
There is an application process to receive a team which starts with a very simple Project Concept Form. From there, you would be invited to submit a Full Application that provides more detail on your potential project. If you have project ideas or questions you can contact James Griffin at [email protected] or 916-640-0333.
Lastly, check out this short video that describes the NCCC program a little more, and with some great pictures! (note: this video is specific to food security projects, but NCCC teams can do much, much more!)