In recognition of his support for the Workforce Investment Act, Congressman John Tierney of Massachusetts's 6th District was awarded one of The Corps Network's highest honors, the Congressional Champion Award, at a ceremony in the Cannon House Office Building on Wednesday, February 13, 2013.
Every year, The Corps Network presents the Congressional Champion Award to elected officials whose work promotes and encourages the growth and sustainability of America's youth service and conservation corps. The Corps Network selected Representative Tierney for the award for his work on the Workforce Investment Act of 2012. The Act would expand eligibility requirements to include older youth and youth living near the higher threshold of poverty, and would place a new emphasis on services to out-of-school youth and youth with disabilities. It would also establish a new Youth Innovation Fund for comprehensive and innovative programs such as Youth Service and Conservation Corps. The Corps Network especially appreciates the inclusion of language that specifically encourages strategies that utilize Corps to deliver education and workforce development to disconnected youth.
Having been recently re-elected to his ninth term representing Massachusetts's Sixth District, U.S. Representative John F. Tierney has developed a national reputation as an effective legislator for families, seniors, and small businesses. Fighting for a vibrant middle class and working to create opportunity for all, Congressman Tierney has been an active leader on education and labor issues.
"We wish to thank Representative Tierney for his support of "Youth Corps-friendly" provisions the Workforce Investment Act," said Mary Ellen Ardouny, President and CEO of The Corps Network. "It will help many young people gain valuable work experience and develop job skills while completing projects that improve their communities. This is a combination of positive outcomes that we can all appreciate."
Congressman Tierney accepted his award at the February 13th ceremony and spoke about his dedication to helping disadvantaged youth.
"I am honored and grateful to receive this Congressional Champion award, and I want to thank The Corps Network as well as its hardworking members and community volunteers across the country for recognizing me," said Congressman Tierney. "The Workforce Investment Act of 2013 that I, along with Congressmen Ruben Hinojosa and George Miller, recently introduced supports the kind of innovative work that The Corps Network does to help disadvantaged youth begin their careers and build their skills. I appreciate The Corps Network's continued support of our bill and look forward to continuing our work together on improving the nation's job training system and ensuring it continues to serve our youth."
In addition to the recipients of the Congressional Champion Award, the January 13th ceremony also recognized The Corps Network's 2013 Corpsmembers of the Year and 2013 Projects of the Year. The six Corpsmembers of the Year are young men and women who have proven to be leaders and role models in the corps movement, while the three Project of the Year recipients represented some of the most innovative programs at Corps throughout the country.
Service and conservation corps are comprehensive youth development programs that provide their participants with job training, academic programming, leadership skills, and additional support through a strategy of service that improves communities and the environment. Today's corps are a direct descendant of the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps, through which three million young men dramatically improved the nation's public lands while receiving food, shelter, education, and a precious $30-a-month stipend.