CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- AmeriCorps and VISTA programs in West Virginia could suffer if Congress does not reach a new budget agreement and eliminates the sequester.
"There would definitely be an impact, both in money we grant out and in administrative funding," said Stephanie Yu, executive director of Volunteer West Virginia, which runs AmeriCorps programs in the state.
"Our programs are looking at a 5 to 10 percent cut," Yu said. "We could have one less program of AmeriCorps members, involving at least 10 people -- maybe more. That would be one of our tutoring programs. That is not insignificant."
Programs like Step by Step, which helps low-income families in several area counties, are keeping a wary eye on the sequester.
"Right now there will be some cuts through sequestration," said Michael Tierney, Step by Step director. "How that will play out we're still not sure.
"It's an ongoing struggle, but we have some strong support," Tierney said. He noted that the VISTA program is 50 years old, and counts U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller as one of its earlier volunteers.
"It's a concern, but there's also some core support out there," Tierney said.
Yu said that AmeriCorps programs are basically run by states, although some are run by the federal government. "But only the feds run VISTA," she said. "All programs run by a federal agency are going to be affected and cut.
"Part of the reason we won't see a bigger cut in AmeriCorps is that West Virginia is already considered to be a small state and already has the minimum number of people.
"That does limit the amount they can cut from us. VISTA is run on a nationwide basis. Everyone can be cut," Yu said.