Indiana is hoping transitioning its volunteer programs to the Department of Workforce Development will help increase awareness about the opportunities. The new program is called Serve Indiana.
Governor Mike Pence issued an executive order shuttering the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, which coordinated programs such as AmeriCorps and organized the state’s volunteer efforts. Those responsibilities were moved to the Department of Workforce Development under the banner of Serve Indiana. Department spokesman Joe Frank says it’s a move that will save money while increasing exposure:
“It’s kind of a great marriage, Frank said. “They can utilize our WorkOne centers and we can introduce Hoosiers their services in a lot more places than they’ve had before.”
Pence says the shift also makes sense when trying to move people from unemployment back into the workforce:
“There is real evidence that there’s a correlation of people getting back on their feet, getting back in the workplace and people that find a way to contribute to and participate in their community on a volunteer basis,” Pence said.
Frank says very few programs will be eliminated – mostly small grant training opportunities.