With the COVID-19 pandemic as a constant reminder of the importance of public health efforts, AmeriCorps and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week announced a joint recruitment and training effort for public health experts known as Public Health AmeriCorps.
That program will be supported by a $400 million investment from the American Rescue Plan Act. With that money, it could create up to 5,000 AmeriCorps positions over the next five years to complement a $7 billion investment in the public health workforce being pursued by the Biden Administration. These volunteer positions will be embedded primarily in state, local, Tribal and territorial public health departments or in service to public health departments.
“In partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health AmeriCorps will help vulnerable communities recover from COVID-19 and address broader public health needs, especially those exacerbated by the pandemic,” Mal Coles, acting CEO at AmeriCorps, said. “This is an exciting new partnership that builds upon the expertise, best practices, and lessons learned from both existing AmeriCorps and CDC programs to support communities and also provide much-needed surge capacity for state and local public health agencies that continue to bear the burden of caring for a nation in crisis.”
Relevant funding is being made available via a competition run by AmeriCorps’ State and National program. Nonprofit, faith-based and community-based organizations, higher education institutions, Tribes, as well as state, local and territorial government organizations are all welcome to apply by November 8, 2021.
“The experience and networks AmeriCorps brings to this partnership provide a valuable opportunity to engage communities around the United States, including many people who may have never considered a deeply fulfilling career in public health,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said. “This program is a critical component of CDC’s effort to develop a strong, diverse workforce to face the public health challenges of the future.”
As part of those efforts, AmeriCorps will also provide various technical assistance calls, webinars and workshops related to the funding opportunity.