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Strengthen ND awarded grant to implement AmeriCorps Program

The award totals more than $430,000.

The North Dakota Department of Commerce has awarded more than $430,000 to Strengthen ND to develop a community-based AmeriCorps Program to support local projects.

Megan Laudenschlager is Executive Director for Strengthen ND. She says the organization strengthens North Dakota’s most rural communities by supporting economic development, and this award will do so by being able to provide the people-power to actually build capacity.

"Coordinating grant writing, building planning meetings and capacity, recruiting community volunteers, doing some community outreach for their organization. So we will be able to hire on additional people to work directly in this communities, ideally from those communities, and the salary will be paid through the AmeriCorps Program."

Laudenschlager says North Dakota’s workforce shortage heavily affects rural communities. She says this program presents a powerful prospect.

"With this program, we saw an opportunity to meet several needs within communities - to provide some technical support directly through our work and services, to recruit and build up new individuals to take on leadership roles within communities, and lastly provide much needed payroll resources to these communities so they can support that much needed volunteer coordination work that is largely done unpaid."

The full sum of the award is $431,939.