The first class of Americorps volunteers graduated today at the new National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) facility in Vinton. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin pushed to have the facility created at the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School campus.
Harkin, a Democrat, says several hundred volunteers will be trained at the site each year. Harkin says they’ll come from all parts of the country to be trained before heading off to all parts of the country to do their volunteer service. Harkin says it’s anticipated the federal government will put five-and-a-half million dollars a year into the facility for training.
Harkin says two-and-a-half million dollars of federal money was secured to renovate the unused portion of the school for the facility. Harkin says the first class was able to train even though the new facility isn’t complete.
Harkin says they’ve been using some other facilities for now, but by this time next year expect to have all the renovation done for the training center. Harkin says the facility is expected to create 160 jobs locally. Members who graduate from the training will work in teams on a variety of community projects, including building and rehabilitating low-income housing, responding to natural disasters, tutoring students, cleaning up waterways, and helping communities develop emergency plans.
After their service, N-C-C-C members receive an education award worth 4,725 dollars which can be used as a scholarship or loan repayment.