Are you passionate about tackling the biggest environmental and social equity challenges facing communities today while launching a social purpose career?
CivicSpark is a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local public agencies to address emerging environmental and social equity resilience challenges such as: climate change, water resource management, affordable housing, and mobility. CivicSpark is managed by the Local Government Commission (LGC) in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.
Attend a CivicSpark Fellow Informational Webinar to learn more about the program, the application and interview process, and ask questions you have about CivicSpark! Select the time that works best for you below to register.
CivicSpark helped me build more confidence in my skills as a professional. Working in a local government office full time really taught me crucial professional skills that I did not learn in school. I also grew as a person and am able to better represent myself in professional situations. CivicSpark was the step I needed to get into my current position as a UNEP intern, something I've dreamed about for a long time.
CivicSpark provided me an unbelievable opportunity to work with experts & professionals in the Climate Change and Transportation Planning fields. I got top notch training and mentorship from leaders in both Sacramento and the Central Valley in sustainable transportation and California climate initiatives. The CivicSpark experience helped me seamlessly get a position as a Transportation Planner with the State of California after graduation.
From CivicSpark, I was instilled with an ethic of service and justice that will be omnipresent in my work. I learned a lot about how our state of California addresses its challenges in water management, and also about what it means to be a changemaker in a professional capacity. Those first few months of work made a big impression on me, and I'm so happy I was able to spend my early professional career in such a dynamic, collaborative and learning-focused environment.
What is AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps is a national civil society program created to address the needs of local communities. AmeriCorps engages 75,000 Members annually who complete intensive service to meet community needs in education, health, public safety, security, and the environment. Since 1994, AmeriCorps Members have served over 1.4 billion hours for their communities. CivicSpark Fellows are AmeriCorps Members, serving full time, completing a total of 1,700 hours over 11 months and working to support local communities, while gaining valuable experience and training. For more information about AmeriCorps, visit www.nationalservice.gov. AmeriCorps is administered by CaliforniaVolunteers and sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
What does it mean to be a CivicSpark Fellow?
Fellows are matched with a host partner agency and are given at least one project, which benefits at least one local government agency. Projects are spread through seven regions across California, including the Central Coast, Central Inland (includes San Joaquin Valley), Greater Los Angeles (includes San Diego), Inland Empire, North Coast, Sacramento and the Sierras, and San Francisco Bay Area. Through project work, Fellows will gain hands-on experience tackling the most urgent environmental and social equity problems facing communities today, while growing their professional, technical and leadership skills, and building a strong network of resilience professionals.
While each project is unique, all CivicSpark Fellows provide support to local government agencies through a common four-step approach designed to help Fellows make meaningful use of their time within their projects, agencies, and communities:
Across all projects, CivicSpark Fellows will get exceptional real-world experience, spending their service year working alongside regional leaders and coordinators to implement cutting-edge resiliency projects for forward-looking communities. All Fellows will leave the service year with a better understanding of work within local governments, experience working on critical emerging environmental and social equity issues, and the ability to work successfully in a team office setting. Benefits include:
- Intensive mentorship and supervision.
- Training on the latest sector-specific tools and techniques.
- Statewide networking with local, regional and state leaders.
- An exceptional outcome-driven project management experience in growing and critically important fields.
- Stipend, student loan deferral, health care, and child care support, if needed.
Project Types – Environmental and Social Equity
Climate Change Projects
Focused on climate adaptation and mitigation priorities such as waste reduction, climate action planning, public health, energy efficiency, climate risk assessment, and greenhouse gas reduction.
Focused on water management priorities such as stormwater resource planning, sustainable groundwater management, integrated watershed management, and water-use efficiency.
Affordable Housing Projects
Focused on housing priorities such as analysis of housing capacity and inventory, planning for increased housing supply, coordination of transportation oriented development, housing equity programs, and disaster recovery and rebuilding.development.
Focused on community mobility priorities such as bicycle/pedestrian access and planning, alternative vehicle deployment and infrastructure, vehicle electrification, and shared mobility
2019-20 Recruitment / Service Year Calendar
CivicSpark Fellows receive the following benefits for the term of their service year:
- $20,000+ Living Allowance (before taxes) spread evenly over 11 months
- $6,095 Segal Education Award
- SNAP (Food Stamps) – for those eligible
- Forbearance on existing qualifying student loans and payment of interest accrued during service
- Health insurance
- Childcare assistance to qualifying fellows, paid to an eligible provider of your choice
- Significant professional development training
- Network development with regional and statewide contacts in the climate change and water management industrie.
- Connection to a network of hundreds CivicSpark alum, and hundreds of thousands of AmeriCorps alums
CivicSpark Fellows must have completed at least a 4-year degree and ideally have relevant experience in a related field. An ideal candidate will have the following characteristics:
- Be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States*
- Ability to pass FBI, CA Department of Justice, out-of-state (if applicable), and National Sex Offender Public Registry background checks prior to service
- A 4-year degree (i.e. BA/BS) from an accredited college or university
- Commitment to the full term of service (11 months, 1,700 hours)
- Capability to work in a professional office setting
- Strong communication (both verbal and written) and teamwork skills
- A degree in a related field
- One year of relevant experience
- Past service experience (e.g., volunteering, community service, etc.)
- Experience with, or training in, outreach, facilitation and/or education
- Experience with local government operations and structures
- Comfort with quantitative work, including data collection and analysis
This is an equal opportunity position and we prefer to place candidates who already live in the communities they will serve.
*At this time, we are unfortunately unable to accept applicants with student visas (such as F1 or F2 student visas, J1 or J2 exchange visitor visas, G series visas, etc.), or those with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status.