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The call for national service

Listen 49:14
A crew of the Civilian Conservation Camps, which was started in 1933, has taken young men off the bread lines during the depression and put thousands to work.  These men, seen in 1940, were at the CCC's Camp Tomahawk in Wisconsin,. They helped fight forest fires by building fire lanes, clearing brush and the lake.  (AP Photo)

A crew of the Civilian Conservation Camps, which was started in 1933, has taken young men off the bread lines during the depression and put thousands to work. These men, seen in 1940, were at the CCC's Camp Tomahawk in Wisconsin,. They helped fight forest fires by building fire lanes, clearing brush and the lake. (AP Photo)

Guests: Senator Chris Coons, John Bridgeland, Cecilia Mo

With so many Americans out of work and few job options, there’s been a renewed call to expand voluntary national service. The intention is to create more opportunities for young people to help the nation combat, and recover from, the devastation of the pandemic. Advocates of programs like AmeriCorps point to the essential skills and experiences young people could gain. These programs aim to expand individual’s sense of purpose and bridge community divides, and assist rebuilding our country. This hour, we look at the call to national service and what an expansion of opportunities would look like. We start off talking with Delaware SENATOR CHRIS COONS about the bill he’s introduced which would increase the AmeriCorps workforce to 750,000. Then, we speak with JOHN BRIDGELAND, a CEO of Civic Enterprises who has worked to expand national service for two decades. And, we’ll hear from CECILIA MO, a University of California, Berkeley, about the impact service programs have on the participants and our Democracy.

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