For new graduates, retirees and workers looking for a career change, the Employment Security Department's Washington Service Corps can offer an answer to "What's next?" and give them an opportunity to serve their country.
"Many people think that national service means entering the military or joining the Peace Corps," said Terri Barbee, director of the Washington Service Corps, which is administered by the state Employment Security Department. "We offer an alternative that lets our members serve the country at a community-based level through Service Corps and AmeriCorps programs."
Members are paid a monthly stipend and receive health insurance. In addition, a service commitment of 10.5 or 12 months makes members eligible for $4,725 toward education costs and student loans.
"This is a good deal for someone who wants to gain some life experience and a little money before entering college or someone who has recently graduated and needs to pay off college loans," Barbee said. "We also welcome retirees who want to stay active."
The Washington Service Corps is a network of AmeriCorps-funded programs that delivers services across Washington in partnership with local nonprofit and government organizations. With more than 700 members, the Washington Service Corps is one of the largest AmeriCorps programs in the country.
Opportunities for Washington Service Corps members include tutoring and mentoring disadvantaged youths, building affordable housing, preparing for and responding to emergencies and disasters, restoring streams and habitat, providing after-school programs and teaching environmental education.
People at least 17 years old who are interested in applying for the Washington Service Corps should call (360) 438-4005.