DEPARTMENT OF SERVICE & CIVIC INNOVATION

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS


[photo, 45 Calvert St., Annapolis, Maryland] In January 2023, the Department of Service and Civic Innovation was created first by the Governor (Executive Order 01.01.2023.02). In April 2023, the General Assembly established the Department by statute (Chapter 99, Acts of 2023).

The Department of Service and Civic Innovation promotes the use of volunteers in State, county ad municipal government; business; and nonprofit organizations.


45 Calvert St., Annapolis, Maryland, July 2014. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


OFFICE OF SECRETARY

Heading the Department, the Secretary of Service and Civic Innovation is appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent.

The Secretary of Service and Civic Innovation serves on the Governor's Executive Council; the Maryland Council on Innovation and Impact, and the Maryland 250 Commission.


[photo, 100 Community Place, Crownsville, Maryland]

GOVERNOR'S OFFICE ON SERVICE & VOLUNTEERISM

100 Community Place, Crownsville, MD

In 1986, the Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism formed as the Office on Volunteerism (Chapter 13, Acts of 1986), and adopted its present name in 1998 (Chapter 22, Acts of 1998). From January 1997 to 2003, the Office functioned under the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. In 2004, it transferred to the Governor's Office of Community Initiatives (Executive Order 01.01.2004.57). In October 2005, it joined the Governor's Office of Community Initiatives. In 2023, it transferred to become part of the Department of Service and Civic Innovation.

The Governor's Office on Service and Volunteerism supports and promotes service and volunteer efforts that engage Marylanders to strengthen their communities. By combining traditional volunteerism with modern programs, the Office helps meet pressing needs in the areas of education, health, the environment, and public safety (Code State Government Article, secs. 9.5-201 through 9.5-206). The Office also provides training and technical assistance to volunteer organizations, "Communities of Promise," and national service programs throughout Maryland. Technical assistance includes telephone and on-line consultations, site visits, workshops, presentations, and printed materials.

100 Community Place, Crownsville, Maryland, July 2016. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


The Governor names the Director.

Formerly located at 300 West Preston Street in Baltimore, the Office moved to 301 West Preston Street in October 2005, when it joined the Governor's Office of Community Initiatives. In May 2016, it moved to 100 Community Place in Crownsville, Maryland.

Under the Office on Service and Volunteerism are three main units: Administration, Outreach, and Programs.

PROGRAMS

AMERICORPS
Under the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps is a national service program that offers individuals of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to spend a year engaged in community service.

AmeriCorps members work to meet critical needs in the areas of disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, access to primary and preventive health care, veterans services, and assistance to military families. In return, AmeriCorps members receive an education award to help pay college costs or or repay student loans.

Maryland has twenty-five AmeriCorps programs serving communities from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore. Each year, over 2,100 individuals serve as members of the Program in Maryland.

The Department of Service and Civic Innovation serves as a intermediary with the AmeriCorps Program to secure federal funding, and alleviate the administrative burden on State organizations seeking to participate in the Program. In working with the Program, the Department seeks to expand service opportuities in State, county and municipal parks; and in the areas of public and community health, and clean and renewable energy.

MARYLAND CORPS PROGRAM
45 Calvert St., Annapolis, MD 21401

The Maryland Corps Program was established by the General Assembly in June 2016 (Chapter 654, Acts of 2016). As of June 1, 2022, the Maryland Corps Program was revised and expanded (Chapter 37, Acts of 2022). In April 2023, the Program was made part of the Department of Service and Civic Innovation (Chapter 113, Acts of 2023).

To at least 100 participants, the Maryland Corps Program provides service opportunities that address the various social needs of communities across the State. It teachs Program participants the skills necessary to transition from high school to institutions of higher learning or the workforce. Moreover, it provides scholarships to those who complete the Program so they may earn vocational certificates, associate's degrees, or bachelor's degrees at institutions of higher learning.

There is no age or graduation requirement to join the Maryland Corps.

MARYLAND SERVICE YEAR OPTION
Initiated in 2023, the Maryland Service Year Option offers young adults a year of professional growth and career exploration where they can earn a living wage, gain new skills, and identify where their talents and sense of purpose join together. At the same time, young people with other Marylanders can serve their communities in fields that relate to climate, education, community health, public service, apprenticeships and building trades, information technology, and public safety.

The Maryland Service Year Option is deisgned for those who recently have graduated from high school or earned a High School General Equivalency Diploma (GED). For these young adults, it provides job training, an on-site mentor, and resources to be successful (personal money management, training, career exploration), while earning $15 an hour. At the end of the program, participants earn $6,000 toward tuition costs, or as a cash stipend.

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