About the Preserve WV Americorps Program
PAWV is currently seeking sites to host Preserve WV AmeriCorps members in the 2020-2021 service year, which will begin on August 28, 2020. Please review the application guidelines and program expectations closely. Complete the application and return it to Danielle Parker, firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, April 24th. Learn more at https://www.pawv.org/sponsor.html.
There are still a few service opportunities available for the 2019-2020 Preserve WV AmeriCorps year. Application information and information about open sites are available at http://www.pawv.org/join-americorps.html
Created in 2013, the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program is the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia’s statewide national service initiative where members help main streets thrive, help communities capture their local history, and preserve beloved West Virginia landmarks. The Preserve WV AmeriCorps program brings members to sites to implement techniques and theories related to historic preservation, capacity building, and cultural heritage tourism site development to revitalize our local communities and improve our economy.
The Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is the leader of a consortium of nonprofit organizations and government agencies that are cultural heritage tourism sites and/or utilize historic preservation to revitalize their communities. AmeriCorps members are placed for a year at consortium sites, which are nonprofit organizations and government agencies across the state that range from museums and archives to Historic Landmarks Commissions and Main Street organizations. The primary objective of the Preserve WV AmeriCorps program is to inject new life into the state’s declining economy by having members complete projects that will attract more private spending to West Virginia’s cultural heritage sites and those sites’ communities.
The Preserve WV AmeriCorps program aims to address the following community needs:
Capacity Building - Preserve WV AmeriCorps consortium members are under-resourced with shrinking budgets. They usually have staff of two or less, or they are entirely volunteer-based and lack the capacity to maximize volunteers or financial opportunities. This limits the organizations’ ability to provide important services to their communities. Preserve WV AmeriCorps members are catalysts at their sites for managing volunteers, as well as designing and implementing volunteer management systems, which allow sites to reach more community residents and outside tourists, and therefore, more efficiently and effectively provide community development and historic preservation opportunities in their communities.
Economic Stagnation: West Virginia’s economy has not recovered from a severe economic downturn over the last decade, having been beset by a major decline in various energy/extractive industries, the subsequent loss of thousands of jobs, and an accompanying outmigration of residents. All of this has led, as of 2017-2018, to West Virginia having the United States’ second-worst level of population loss, fourth-worst poverty rate, and third-worst employment rate. The Preserve WV AmeriCorps program seeks to address this economic problem by focusing on community investment and local economic development by using historic preservation to enhance and increase cultural heritage tourism opportunities - a proven economic engine in many other states.
The GOALS of Preserve WV are for members to
AmeriCorps service is neither employment nor volunteering; it is a unique, paid, National Service opportunity that is similar to the Peace Corps. Grant-funded AmeriCorps State programs such as Preserve WV AmeriCorps are overseen by a federal agency, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), and by a state commission, which in Preserve WV’s case is Volunteer West Virginia. AmeriCorps programs take multiple approaches to improving lives, fostering civic engagement, and addressing critical community needs through direct service. AmeriCorps’ official motto is “Get Things Done.” More information about AmeriCorps is available at https://www.nationalservice.gov/