Corporation for National and Community Service

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The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), created in 1993, "provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through three programs: Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. Members and volunteers serve with national and community nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, schools, and local agencies to help meet community needs in education, the environment, public safety, homeland security, and other critical areas. The Corporation is part of USA Freedom Corps, a White House initiative to foster a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility, and help all Americans answer the President's Call to Service." [1][2]

On February 27, 2004, President George W. Bush issued the Executive Order National and Community Service Programs, "to strengthen the ability of programs authorized under the national service laws to build and reinforce a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility throughout our Nation, and to institute reforms to improve accountability and efficiency in the administration of those programs." [3]

Section 3.(c)(iii) of the EO states that "National and community service programs should increase efforts to expand opportunities for, and strengthen the capacity of, faith-based and other community organizations in building and strengthening an infrastructure to support volunteers that meet community needs," which reinforces the Bush/Republican Initiatives' program Faith-based and Community Initiatives.


"Building on a long tradition of service, the Corporation merged the work and staff of two predecessor agencies, ACTION and the Commission on National and Community Service. For the two decades, ACTION administered VISTA and the three programs which make up the Senior Corps - RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program), Senior Companions, and Foster Grandparents, which engage nearly a half million older Americans in service to their communities. ACTION was authorized by the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 as amended.

"The rapidly expanding grassroots service movement led to the passage of the National and Community Service Act of 1990. This legislation, signed by President George Herbert Walker Bush, created both a private, nonprofit organization -- the Points of Light Foundation, and a new independent federal agency, the Commission on National and Community Service. Through grants and national coordination, the Commission supported four streams of service: service-learning programs for school-aged youth, higher-education service programs, youth corps, and national service demonstration models.

"In 1992, a bipartisan group of Senators, working with the George Herbert Walker Bush administration, drafted legislation to create NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) as a demonstration program to explore the possibility of using post-Cold War military resources to help solve problems here at home. The NCCC, enacted as part of the 1993 Defense Authorization Act, is a residential service program modeled on the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps and the United States military. The NCCC became a part of a network of national service programs when the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 was signed into law.

"The National and Community Service Trust Act was drafted by the Clinton administration with the assistance of Congress and introduced by a bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress in June of 1993. The bill passed nine months later and was signed into law on September 21, 1993. The legislation created the Corporation for National and Community Service to administer AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, and the other national service programs.

"President George W. Bush, in his State of the Union 2002 address on January 29, 2002, called on all Americans to serve their country for the equivalent of two years and announced the creation of USA Freedom Corps. He proposed more service opportunities through AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, programs of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service.

"In April of 2002 the President unveiled the Principles and Reforms for a Citizen Service Act to reform and enhance AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and other programs administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service."

"President Bush created USA Freedom Corps to coordinate citizen volunteer efforts both domestically and abroad. As part of that initiative, the President called on all Americans to devote the equivalent of at least two years of their lives 4,000 hours to service and volunteerism. National and community service programs are one way to answer the President's call. Senior Corps taps the skills, talents, and experience of older Americans to help solve pressing social problems, while AmeriCorps gives citizens the opportunity to perform intensive service over an uninterrupted period. Learn and Serve America, which links classroom studies with service in the community, is an important and effective way of instilling the habits of good citizenship and fostering a lifelong ethic of service among young Americans." [4]

Corporation Officers

On July 11, 2003, the White House announced President George W. Bush's "intention to nominate David Eisner to be the Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service, replacing Leslie Lenkowsky who [had] announced his decision to leave the agency on August 15 to return to academia. The Corporation, which directs the national service programs that are a fundamental part of President Bush's agenda for engaging Americans in service to their communities, also announced that James F. Manning [had] been selected to serve as its Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately." [5]

Board of Directors



Related SourceWatch

External links


  • 108th Congress, S.1276: "A bill to improve the manner in which the Corporation for National and Community Service approves, and records obligations relating to, national service positions." Short Title: "Strengthen AmeriCorps Program Act." Public Law No: 108-45.