The Corporation for National and Community Service, now operating as AmeriCorps, is the result of a merger between two previously existing agencies, ACTION and the Commission on National and Community Service. For two decades, ACTION administered the AmeriCorps VISTA and Senior Corps (now AmeriCorps Seniors) programs: Foster Grandparents, RSVP, and Senior Companions. ACTION was authorized by the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973, as amended.
1990: National and Community Service Act of 1990 – A renewed focus on volunteerism in America led to the passage of the National and Community Service Act of 1990, signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. The act created a new independent federal agency called the Commission on National and Community Service. The Commission was charged with supporting four streams of service:
- Service-learning programs for school-aged youth
- Higher education service programs
- Youth corps
- National service demonstration models
1992: National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) – A bipartisan group of senators, working with the George H.W. Bush administration, drafted legislation to create NCCC as a demonstration program to explore the possibility of using post-Cold War military resources to help solve national challenges. NCCC, enacted as part of the 1993 Defense Authorization Act, was created to be a residential service program modeled on the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps and the United States military.
1993: The National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 – Both NCCC and the Commission on National and Community Service were incorporated into the Clinton administration’s National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. A bipartisan coalition of Congress members introduced the bill, signed into law by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1993. The Act created the Corporation for National and Community Service, with the responsibility of mobilizing Americans into service.
2002: USA Freedom Corps – In his 2002 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush announced the creation of the USA Freedom Corps. Chaired by the President, the USA Freedom Corps was a coordinating council that worked to strengthen the American culture of service and helped connect citizens to volunteer opportunities.
2009: Serve America Act – On April 21, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act at an elementary school in Washington, DC. The Serve America Act reauthorized and expanded national service programs administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
- Detailed Summary of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act
- Highlights of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act
- Letter from the Office of Management and Budget on National Service Legislation
- Service Process of Legal Documents Upon the Corporation for National and Community Service (operating as AmeriCorps)
Government Paperwork Elimination Act
Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) requires Federal agencies to allow individuals or entities that deal with the agencies the option to submit information and to maintain records electronically, when feasible. The Act specifically states that electronic records and their related electronic signatures are not to be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability merely because they are in electronic form, and encourages Federal government use of a range of electronic signature alternatives. This capability should be in place at each agency by October 21, 2003.
AmeriCorps currently makes grants and service participant applications available electronically. For more information, please visit eGrants.