What is the Economic Mobility Corps? The Economic Mobility Corps (EMC) is a joint initiative of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) and AmeriCorps that places full-time national service members in Certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to enhance their capacity to provide financial literacy, financial planning, budgeting, saving, and other financial counseling activities. Economic Mobility Corps members placed in Certified CDFIs will receive training on the principles of financial counseling and financial literacy and assist CDFIs in promoting access to capital and credit in distressed and underserved areas. A total of $1.9 million is available for awards to EMC recipients.
What organizations are eligible to participate in the Economic Mobility Corps? Organizations that meet AmeriCorps’ State and National Direct Grant program eligibility criteria are able to apply for an EMC award, include CDFIs and other financial institutions, Indian Tribes, institutions of higher learning, state and local governments, and nonprofit organizations. An organization does not need to be a Certified CDFI to apply for an EMC award. However, recipients must use EMC awards to fund the placement of AmeriCorps service members in Certified CDFIs. Preference will be given to EMC applicants that intend to enroll veterans as AmeriCorps members and applicants that plan to serve rural areas.
How can my organization apply to participate in the Economic Mobility Corps? Organizations that are interested in applying for funds to participate in EMC should review the fiscal year (FY) 2021 AmeriCorps State and National Direct Grant Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) released by AmeriCorps in September. Organizations must apply for an AmeriCorps State and National Direct Grant in order to participate in EMC. Applications are due to CNCS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. Successful applicants will be notified by CNCS by mid-May 2021.
An organization can apply to EMC as either a National Direct Applicant—if it intends to place AmeriCorps service members at CDFIs in more than one state—or a Single-State Applicant. Single-State Applicants must apply through a State and Territory Service Commission. Additional details, including information on eligibility, cost-sharing, application submission, registration with the System for Award Management (SAM), and more is available in the NOFO.
How many total service members will be funded through the Economic Mobility Corps? Awards are available to fund up to a total of 61 full-time AmeriCorps service members a year for two years. Living allowances must be provided to service members of Economic Mobility Corps that work full-time. EMC service members are also eligible to earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award from the National Service Trust that members can use to pay for higher education expenses or apply to qualified student loans. The NOFO contains detailed information on service member living allowance requirements and other benefits.
What kind of activities will AmeriCorps Members perform as part of the Economic Mobility Corps? EMC members will perform a variety activities that support the work and mission of CDFIs. In particular, participating EMC members will enhance CDFIs’ abilities to promote, market, and deliver financial counseling and financial planning services and programs. The NOFO contains an EMC position description outlining the duties service members would perform.
Where can I find more information about the Economic Mobility Corps, AmeriCorps and the CDFI Fund? Those organizations interested in applying for an EMC award should carefully review the AmeriCorps State and National Grant NOFO. Additional information is available on the AmeriCorps website at https://americorps.gov/. Information about the CDFI Fund and CDFIs is available on the CDFI Fund website at www.cdfifund.gov.