AmeriCorps programs in West Virginia have 1,034 people working on different projects, including projects for: the Appalachian Forest Heritage Area, Communities Helping Communities, Citizen Conservation Corps of West Virginia, Education Alliance, Kanawha Institute for Social Research and Action, Ohio-West Virginia YMCA Camp Horseshoe and the Prestera Center for Mental Health Service.
Kathleen Roedersheimer heads the Corporation for National and Community Service in West Virginia, which administers VISTA programs throughout the country.
Sequestration, Roedersheimer said, "will not affect the current year. The grant year we are in is financed by the last federal year's grant money. We will learn sometime between August and October what we can do going forward."
West Virginia has 133 VISTA volunteers working on 10 projects, according to national CNSC spokeswoman Samantha Jo Warfield. Federal funding for those programs is more than $2.1 million.
Rep. Nick J. Rahall, D-W.Va., said, "Not even the most anti-government zealot can sequester the many positive educational, health and development benefits the VISTA and AmeriCorps programs have produced for our state and nation.
"These programs not only lift prospects for entire communities, they instill civic and community values in untold numbers of young people who remain dedicated to improving their nation long after their formal service in these programs is finished. Taking an across the board budget swipe at these community builders ultimately diminishes the nation," Rahall told the Gazette.
He believes Congress will continue working to resolve differences over deficits and sequestration.
"Reasonable members of both parties are already at work to reach a bipartisan accord on the budget for the remainder of the fiscal year and to provide additional guidance and assistance to the federal agencies in addressing the sequester. There is no reason why the Congress cannot get its job done," Rahall said.
Staff writer Jim Balow contributed to this report. Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjny...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.