Porter-Leath Awarded Grant to Expand AmeriCorps Seniors Workforce Development Program
Local & National News | June 28, 2023
AmeriCorps Seniors grants support the expansion of workforce development programs, providing older adults with opportunities to contribute their skills and experience while addressing community needs.

Memphis, Tennessee – Porter-Leath, a renowned early childhood education organization, has been selected as one of only five AmeriCorps Seniors grantees nationwide for the AmeriCorps Seniors Workforce Development Senior Demonstration Program. This prestigious grant will significantly expand the AmeriCorps Seniors program, with a specific focus on recruiting, training, certifying, and employing seniors interested in pursuing early childhood careers. 

The AmeriCorps Seniors program at Porter-Leath will enlist the help of 25 dedicated seniors aged 55+ who will serve full-time at Porter-Leath sites starting in August. Over the course of their service, these volunteers will undergo comprehensive coursework to earn their Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential. Porter-Leath is a proud partner of the Council for Professional Recognition, which administers the CDA Credential to early childhood educators, ensuring they possess key competencies to excel in their roles.

Judith Rautine, Generations Manager at Porter-Leath, expressed enthusiasm about the initiative, stating, "With this new initiative, we will create a pipeline for new highly-qualified early childhood professionals by leveraging the skills and experiences of local AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers. They will increase child and family engagement in early childhood programs while training for a new career path."

Through a carefully designed program, AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers will serve alongside experienced early childhood educators to learn best practices and gain valuable experience in the field. Volunteers will receive a monthly stipend of $1,500, as well as access to CDA training, books, materials, and additional educational support. The program will also offer opportunities for volunteers to seek and apply for early childhood education positions. Once employed, they will receive six months of mentoring to ensure a smooth transition into their new roles.

To express interest in participating in this unique opportunity, please reach out to Judith Rautine, Generations Manager at Porter-Leath, by emailing jrautine@porterleath.org or calling 901-577-2500.

In addition to Porter-Leath, four other exceptional organizations have been selected as AmeriCorps Seniors grantees:

1. National Council on Aging, Inc. – Focusing on Economic Opportunity and Healthy Futures in the northern panhandle of West Virginia, this program aims to place 72 AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers into employment.

2. Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission, Inc. – Targeting Economic Opportunity in various counties in Kentucky, this program plans to assist 150 AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in securing employment.

3. The HAP Foundation – Concentrating on Healthy Futures in select counties in Illinois, this program envisions placing 50 AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers into employment.

4. The University of Chicago – Focusing on Healthy Futures and access to care in Chicago and Harvey, Illinois, this program intends to place 18 AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers into employment.

These grants, co-funded by Public Health AmeriCorps in partnership with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, signify AmeriCorps' commitment to addressing economic opportunity and building pathways to employment for older adults. By investing in sustainable programs, AmeriCorps aims to create lasting change in communities and promote diversity, equity, inclusivity, and accessibility.

The grants awarded to these organizations exemplify AmeriCorps' dedication to enhancing opportunities for adults aged 55+ to engage in national service activities, improve their communities, and acquire the skills needed to transition back into the workforce. The programs are designed to extend beyond the grant period, ensuring long-term impact and sustainability. Public Health AmeriCorps, with a $400 million

 investment from the American Rescue Plan Act, plays a vital role in advancing health equity, increasing access to care, and creating new paths to public health-related careers.

These initiatives, fostering collaboration between AmeriCorps Seniors and local communities, underscore the importance of older Americans in addressing workforce shortages and their ability to contribute their expertise to improve public health and well-being. AmeriCorps remains committed to supporting national service across all 50 states and U.S. territories, uniting individuals of all ages to create positive change and improve lives.

Learn more about Porter-Leath


Porter-Leath's mission is empowering children and families to achieve a healthy, optimal and independent lifestyle.


Porter-Leath's mission is empowering children and families to achieve a healthy, optimal and independent lifestyle.


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