Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

What makes these kinds of projects so important isn't just that we're creating so many jobs. It's that we're putting Americans to work doing the work that America needs done. We're rebuilding our crumbling roads, our bridges, our waterways. We've already approved nearly a thousand transportation projects to upgrade airports, railroads, mass transit systems, and shipyards. We're strengthening our nation's infrastructure in ways that will leave lasting benefits to our communities, making them stronger, making them safer, and making them better places to live.

- Senator Barack Obama, October 14, 2009


The Recovery Act is an unprecedented effort to boost our economy, create or save millions of jobs, and address long-neglected challenges so our country can thrive in the 21st century.  A critical component of achieving a sustainable economic recovery is developing a corps of citizens who are confronting the greatest challenges in their communities.


  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was signed into law by President Obama on February 17th, 2009.
  • On the Service front, the Act provided $201 million in funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service to support an expansion of AmeriCorps State and National and AmeriCorps VISTA programs. The funding supports more than 15,000 AmeriCorps members who are offering job counseling and placement services, helping prevent foreclosures, weatherizing homes, strengthening food banks, supporting health care and independent living services, and more.
  • The Corporation acted swiftly to implement the law, swearing in the first AmeriCorps VISTA members two months after enactment and making AmeriCorps grants a month later, allowing help to get quickly to communities in need; and,
  • One year after enactment of the Recovery Act, preliminary reports showed these Recovery Act AmeriCorps members are achieving strong results, including:
    • Leveraged more than 135,000 volunteers to serve 1.1 million clients
    • Provided employment and skills training and counseling to more than 35,000 clients
    • Helped place more than 5,400 people in jobs
    • Provided foreclosure and housing assistance services to more than 22,000 people
    • Generated more than $18.3 million in cash and in-kind resources for nonprofits
  • In addition to providing direct services to individuals and communities affected by the economic downturn, Recovery Act AmeriCorps members are providing a critical boost to more than 600 nonprofits across the country.

Further Information

For more information about service resources in the Recovery Act, please see the information page on the website of CNCS.