Amiericorps volunteer weatherizes a home.

The State of Iowa has received a 66% increase in funding over last year for AmeriCorps programs. Jamie Nagel with the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service says the award of more than $6 million will support the placement of 692 AmeriCorps members in community based organizations across Iowa.

She says many of the members can respond to natural disasters, but others serve in positions with agencies such as Habitat For Humanity, Iowa Legal Aid and Iowa Workforce Development.

 AmeriCorps members in Iowa can serve on a full or part-time basis. Full-time members are paid a living allowance.

“Many of them earn around $10,000 to $12,000 for a full-time term of service and if you serve full-time successfully, you can also earn an education award of up to $5,350,” Nagel said. That education award can be used to pay off student loans or finance future expenses. Iowa’s boost in funding from the National AmeriCorps Program was based on the state’s past performance and the ability to use funds other states could not. Currently, there are more AmeriCorps applicants in Iowa than open positions.

“Especially right now, given the economic situation, a lot of people who are unemployed or recent college graduates are seeing how AmeriCorps is a great way to gain some experience and build their resume while contributing to their community and providing some great service,” Nagel said. A total of more than 1,200 AmeriCorps members are expected to serve in Iowa over the next year.