College and high school graduates, retirees and workers now can serve the country at a community level with the help of the Employment Security Department’s Washington Service Corps.
 
“Many people think that national service means entering the military or joining the Peace Corps,” said Terri Barbee, director of the Washington Service Corps, which is administered by the state Employment Security Department.  “We offer an alternative that lets our members serve the country at a community-based level through Service Corps and AmeriCorps programs.”
 
Members are paid a monthly stipend and receive health insurance.  In addition, a service commitment of 10½ or 12 months makes members eligible for $4,725 toward education costs and student loans.
 
“This is a good deal for someone who wants to gain some life experience and a little money before entering college or someone who has recently graduated and needs to pay off college loans,” Barbee said. “We also welcome retirees who want to stay active.”
 
The Washington Service Corps is a network of AmeriCorps-funded programs that deliver services across Washington in partnership with local nonprofit and government organizations.  With more than 700 members, the Washington Service Corps is one of the largest AmeriCorps programs in the country.
 
Opportunities for Washington Service Corps members include tutoring and mentoring disadvantaged youths, building affordable housing, preparing for and responding to emergencies and disasters, restoring streams and habitat, providing after-school programs and teaching environmental education.
 
Those interested in applying for the Washington Service Corps can call 360-438-4005.