SEATTLE, WA (July 25, 2023): The Schultz Family Foundation and the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices today announced a partnership to support Governors and state leaders in designing and expanding innovative civilian national service programs to address critical state needs while also enabling those who serve to use the experience to launch their careers in a meaningful way.
Through this project, the NGA Center aims to improve awareness, connection, and partnership across state entities, including Governors’ offices, state workforce development leaders, state service commission leaders, and community-based organizations, to tap into the power of national service and volunteering to meet the needs of their communities and to enhance the career potential of service members. The partnership aims to help states recruit more diverse service corps and support those who serve in acquiring skills to land a good job.
“National service has the potential to change the lives of those who serve while they change communities through their service,” said Sheri Schultz, co-founder and chair of the Schultz Family Foundation. “We are excited to partner with the NGA Center to build on our work in this space and give additional states the tools and resources they need to expand innovative national service initiatives in their communities.”
States across the nation have been increasing the use of civilian national service and volunteering to harness talent in bridging social divides and solving public challenges—in areas such as housing, economic mobility, public health, and education—while also enabling those serving to achieve career opportunities.
"We are continuing to fill in-demand jobs and make sure Coloradans have the training and skills they need to thrive, and this exciting partnership with NGA is a great opportunity to grow national service and build the workforce for the future. We are proud of the work of AmeriCorps members here in Colorado and look forward to this exciting partnership," said Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado.
The NGA Center will develop a playbook to highlight innovative state-led national service initiatives, emerging effective practices and policy options for Governors and state leaders. The Center also will host a two-day Action Lab workshop this Winter for states to learn from experts and develop implementation plans to create and scale service-to-career pathways, particularly for young adults from underrepresented and diverse communities.
The NGA Center will support participating states throughout Spring 2024 to implement their action plans and lab participants will have the opportunity to apply for grants through the Foundation to support the implementation of their initiatives. States can begin applying for the Action Lab this fall through a competitive application process led by the NGA Center.
“NGA has a proud history of supporting governors’ leadership in expanding experiential learning pathways to good jobs and family-sustaining careers,” said Rachael Stephens Parker, director of the workforce development and economic policy program in the NGA Center for Best Practices. “Governors are leading the nation in finding creative ways to increase national service and volunteerism. As part of this, our members are increasingly elevating service as an impactful way to help young people develop new skills, build professional networks, and find a promising career path—all while participating in activities that help breakdown barriers and lift up their communities. This project will explore emerging practices and new ideas already being championed by governors, with the aim of informing governors’ efforts to build service-to-career pathways across the country.”
The Foundation’s work in national service began in Washington State during the summer of 2020 to address food insecurity and youth unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To support the work of state-led innovation through national service, the Schultz Family Foundation has released Increasing Access and Opportunity Through State-Led National Service Programs: Insights and Recommendations from the National Service Challenge. This paper provides learnings from the National Service Challenge, launched in2021 by the Foundation and co-funded by the Ballmer Group, which invested in eight states to pilot, expand and scale new state-led approaches to making service accessible and impactful for more young adults and communities. The paper offers recommendations for how states, when assisted by key partners, can better design national service programs to benefit individuals, communities, and entire states. The eight states connected with the National Service Challenge are: Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Thttps://www.schultzfamilyfoundation.org/post/increasing-access-and-opportunity-through-state-led-national-service-programsxas and Washington.
About the Schultz Family Foundation
The Schultz Family Foundation, established in 1996 by Sheri and Howard Schultz, creates pathways of opportunity for populations facing barriers to success, focusing on youth transitioning to adulthood and marginalized populations, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. By investing in scalable solutions and partnerships in communities across the country, the Foundation aims to help tackle the barriers and roadblocks that prevent individuals from reaching their full potential and, in doing so, strengthen our communities and our nation. For more information about the Foundation and its work: www.schultzfamilyfoundation.org.
About the NGA Center for Best Practices
Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association (NGA) is the bipartisan organization of the nation’s 55 Governors. Through NGA, Governors share best practices, address issues of national and state interest and share innovative solutions that improve state government and support the principles of federalism.
· Schultz Family Foundation: Zack Hutson,206-664-0642, email@example.com
· NGA:Jocelyn Rogers, 202.624.5340, JRogers@nga.org