Faith Based & Neighborhood Partnerships

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Earlier this week, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) released a new report titled, "Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment." The report uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Current Population Survey to confirm what job club participants know first-hand: volunteering is associated with an increased likelihood of finding employment.

CNCS analyzed a nationally representative sample of more than 70,000 individuals 16 years or older who were looking for work. The report examines their volunteer and employment status over two years to determine whether there was a relationship between volunteering and securing a job.  

The report’s finding of a 27 percent increase in odds of employment was statistically significant.   The association between volunteering and employment remained consistent across each year of the study period and varying unemployment rates, suggesting that volunteering may provide an advantage regardless of economic conditions. Importantly, the relationship was strongest among individuals without a high school diploma (51 percent increase in odds) and individuals who live in rural areas (55 percent increase in odds).  

Prior research has shown that volunteering can increase a person’s social connections and professional contacts (social capital) and skills and experiences (human capital), two factors that are positively related to employment outcomes. In addition, some workers may see volunteering as a possible entry route into a new field or organization where they would like to work.

Volunteerism is a key hallmark of many successful job clubs through building the skills and networks of volunteer job club leaders and connecting job club participants to volunteer activities in the community.

Promoting volunteer service as a pathway for employment and opportunity has been a priority of CNCS.  The agency provides vital leadership and support to America’s voluntary sector through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Volunteer Generation Fund, and other programs.  Last year, the agency engaged more than five million Americans in service to meet local needs and built the capacity of thousands of nonprofits to more effectively recruit and manage volunteers. 

At the Partnerships CoP, our Job Clubs Initiative has been working closely with CNCS over the past few years to help connect job clubs across the country to these CNCS programs. In Florida, Kentucky, and Washington, DC, AmeriCorps members are playing a vital role in organizing and facilitating community job clubs. 

Please contact us if you are interested in linking up your job club with a local CNCS program in your community. 

For more information on the CNCS report and to download the full document visit here: http://cncs.gov/impact-our-nation/research-and-reports/volunteering-pathway-employment-report

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