CivicSpark is a Governor's Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local public agencies to address community resilience issues such as climate change, water resource management, housing, and mobility.
CivicSpark is a program of the Local Government Commission in partnership with the State of California through the Office of Planning and Research, and CaliforniaVolunteers. Each year, CivicSpark recruits 90 Fellows to build local public agency capacity throughout the state for 11 months. During their service year, CivicSpark Fellows implement a needed sustainability and resilience project, while also building long-term capacity to ensure the work is sustained after their service year is completed. The CivicSpark Program offers a unique opportunity for recent college graduates to gain experience in the sustainability and resilience sectors, gain professional and technical skills, and have a strong statewide network of professionals, all while having a lasting impact on communities. Fellows assist with various levels of project planning and implementation of critical projects across California on a wide range of topics, including water resources and management, climate adaptation and mitigation, affordable housing, and mobility.
Please read more below . . .
The Problem this Project Addresses
The well-being of California's communities relies on their resiliency-- the ability of their institutions, infrastructure, and environments to withstand stresses and shocks. A failure of resiliency affects the wellbeing of individuals and their environments for years to come. California is currently facing major stresses from emerging environmental and socioeconomic threats. Local government resources are often limited--maintaining the status quo can take up the majority of resources, leaving little capacity or resources to diagnose or respond to emerging opportunities and challenges. These threats are also unprecedented in scale and complexity, which means addressing them requires new knowledge, innovative policy approaches, and more dynamic and responsive solutions, which local governments have a hard time developing or acquiring. Solutions for such complex problems are often best addressed through integrated approaches (e.g. consideration of climate impacts of housing choices) that require strong internal coordination and deep community engagement that is challenging for under resourced local governments. For all these reasons, persistent capacity gaps among local governments remain a significant factor in the perpetuation--or even exacerbation--of these resilience challenges across California communities. CivicSpark AmeriCorps Fellows working with local governments to implement targeted research, planning, or implementation projects, while simultaneously supporting volunteer engagement, offer a unique way to accelerate local government climate, water, and opportunity access action efforts while contributing to our collective response to these pressing problems.
Region or Country Benefited by this Project
Where Will the Student or Volunteer Work?
In different locations across the state. Most likely serving in a local government agency or a non profit that supports local government work.
Academic Field, Expertise, Academic Level, and/or Experience Desired
CivicSpark Fellows must have completed at least a 4-year degree and ideally have relevant experience in a related field. An ideal candidate will have the following characteristics: AmeriCorps Requirements: Be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident of the United States Ability to pass FBI, CA Department of Justice, out-of-state (if applicable), and National Sex Offender Public Registry background checks prior to service CivicSpark Requirements A 4-year degree (i.e. BA/BS) from an accredited college or university Commitment to the full term of service (11 months, 1,700 hours) Capability to work in a professional office setting Strong communication (both verbal and written) and teamwork skills Strongly preferred: A degree in a related field One year of relevant experience Past service experience (e.g., volunteering, community service, etc.) Experience with, or training in, outreach, facilitation and/or education Desirable: Experience with local government operations and structures Comfort with quantitative work, including data collection and analysis This is an equal opportunity position and we prefer to place candidates who already live in the communities they will serve.
Commitment Hours per Week
CivicSpark Fellows will receive the following benefits during their service year:
- $20,000 Living Allowance (before taxes) spread evenly over 11 months
- $6,195 Segal Education Award (at completion of service)
- SNAP (Food Stamps) for those eligible
- Forbearance on existing qualifying student loans and payment of interest accrued during service
- Health insurance Childcare assistance to qualifying fellows, paid to an eligible provider of your choice;
- Professional development training Network development with regional and statewide contacts in your project field. Connection to a network of hundreds of CivicSpark alum, and hundreds of thousands of AmeriCorps alums
How to Apply
Please apply through our website at: https://civicspark.lgc.org/join-civicspark/fellow/
Thank you for your interest. We look forward to hearing from you.