The Federal Emergency Management Agency has joined forces with the Corporation for National And Community service to create a new program that takes 18 to 24 year old volunteers and trains them to be the next generation of FEMA managers, according to the agency.
The program would draw upon 1,600 members of AmeriCorps who will spend a minimum of 1,700 hours working directly in disaster response.
The first members will begin serving in this August and the program will reach its full capacity within 18 months, according to FEMA.
FEMA says the program will “enhance the federal government’s disaster capabilities, increase the reliability and diversity of the disaster workforce, promote an ethos of service, and expand education and economic opportunity for young people.”
Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, remarked:
…[FEMA Corps], helps communities recover, it trains young people, helps them pay for college, and it doesn’t cost taxpayers an additional dime. Whether you’re a young person looking for work, a member of the community that’s been hit by a flood or a tornado or just a citizen who wants your tax dollars to be spent as wisely as possible, this is a program you can be proud of. This is really government at its best.
And it’s part of the president’s larger vision for an America built to last. Today, so many of our young people have shown that they’re willing to do their part to work hard, act responsibly and contribute to their communities. But in tough economic times, it’s up to all of us to make sure that their hard work and responsibility still pays off.
We have to preserve what President Obama has called the basic promise of America, that no matter who you are, where you come from, you can make it if you try, if you fulfill your responsibilities and you make a contribution.