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NEW YORK (December 20, 2021)—The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is moving forward with an innovative new program to strengthen the economic infrastructure of high-poverty communities, while helping thousands of families stabilize their financial outlook.

This week, LISC announced its local partners for the Economic Mobility Corps (EMC), an effort developed jointly by AmeriCorps and the Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund). With the nearly $1 million grant from AmeriCorps, LISC will support 61 EMC national service members to be placed at CDFIs in 24 states and Puerto Rico to provide a range of
financial counseling services to local residents. They will address critical issues like financial and debt management, including saving for homeownership, while also helping to connect low-income families to affordable financial products.

“Our job, as a national CDFI, is to help build an infrastructure of opportunity in underserved urban and rural communities, and that is particularly important now, as we work to emerge from the pandemic,” said Lisa Glover, LISC’s CEO. “The EMC puts people on the ground, in communities, to build the local capacity of CDFIs and to help put families on a path to financial stability and homeownership opportunities. It is an incredibly valuable addition to the AmeriCorps program.”

This is the inaugural round of the EMC program, which was initially funded by Congress in 2020, with additional funding provided in 2021.

Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), who introduced legislation to establish the EMC partnership between AmeriCorps and the CDFI Fund and also helped secure funding for the program, said “The Economic Mobility Corps supports critical needs of community residents while simultaneously building the capacity of CDFIs and developing a pipeline of talent for these important community partners. I congratulate LISC on being selected to administer this award, and am pleased that Stepping Stones Federal Credit Union in Wilmington, Delaware has been selected to host an EMC Member to support their financial coaching and counseling activities. This exciting program highlights the power of national service to expand opportunity and address critical needs.”

The new program recognizes the importance of leveraging public and private resources to bridge racial needs and socioeconomic disparities. Of the 46 community lending partners LISC selected for the program, 67 percent are led by racially diverse CEOs, and 77 percent serve areas of persistent poverty. In addition, LISC is encouraging its local EMC partners to recruit national service members from the communities
they serve, particularly Black and Indigenous people of color, veterans and women, so new members not only have the chance to build experience in community services, but to also give back to the places where they live and work. It is the same strategy LISC employs in its national AmeriCorps program, which over the last 27 years has placed more than 3,296 national service members with hundreds of
community-based nonprofits working on affordable housing, health, education, community safety, and financial literacy.

LISC’s EMC partners span the country from Alaska to Puerto Rico. They include:

  • Accion Opportunity Fund (Atlanta and San Jose, Calif.)
  • African Economic Development Solutions (St. Paul, Minn.)
  • BOC Capital Corp (Brooklyn)
  • Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union (Brooklyn)
  • Community First Fund dba Community First Capital (Philadelphia)
  • Community Investment Collaborative (Charlottesville, Va.)
  • Excite Credit Union (San Jose, Calif., and Wilmington, N.C.)
  • Four Bands Community Fund Inc (Eagle Butte, S.D.)
  • Greater Newark Enterprises Corporation (Newark, N.J.)
  • Guadalupe Credit Union (Santa Fe, N.M.)
  • Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito Aguas Buenas d/b/a BUENACOOP (Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico)
  • Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito Barranquitas (Barranquitas, Puerto Rico)
  • Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito Florida (Florida, Puerto Rico)
  • Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito de Juana Diaz (Juana Dias, Puerto Rico)
  • Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito de la Industria Biofarmaceutica (Carolina, Puerto Rico)
  • Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito de Mayaguez (Mayaguez, Puerto Rico)
  • Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito de Moca (Moca, Puerto Rico)
  • Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito de Oficiales de Custodia de Puerto Rico (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
  • Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito de Salinas (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
  • Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito San Jose (Aibonito, Puerto Rico)
  • Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito TUCOOP (San Juan,Puerto Rico)
  • Cooperativa Universidad de Puerto Rico (San Juan, Puerto Rico)
  • Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito de Lajas (Lajas, Puerto Rico)
  • Cooperativa de Ahorro de Lares d/b/a LarCoop (Lares, Puerto Rico)
  • Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito Dr. Manuel Zeno Gandía (Arecibo, Puerto Rico)
  • Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito Vegabajeña (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico)
  • IRC’S Center for Economic Opportunity, Inc. (Boise, Idaho; Charlottesville, Va.; Dallas; Denver;Elizabeth, N.J.; Los Angeles; New York; Oakland, Calif.; Phoenix; Richmond, Va.; San Diego; San Jose, Calif.; and Turlock, Calif.)
  • JUST Community, LLC (Austin, Texas)
  • Latino Economic Development Center of Minnesota (St. Paul, Minn.)
  • LHOME: Louisville Housing Opportunities & Micro Enterprise Community Development Loan
  • Fund (Louisville, Ky.)
  • Mission Community Loan Fund LLC dba Fondo Adelante (San Francisco)
  • National Asian American Coalition (Daly City, Calif.)
  • Neighborhood Finance Corporation (Des Moines, Iowa)
  • Neighborhood Housing Services of Baltimore (Baltimore, Md.)
  • Neighborhood Self-Employment Initiative, Inc., dba Business Ownership Initiative of Indiana (BOI) (Indianapolis)
  • New Orleans Firemen’s Federal Credit Union (Metairie, La.)
  • Rio Grande Valley MultiBank (Brownsville, Texas)
  • River City Capital Investment Corp (Memphis, Tenn.)
  • River City Federal Credit Union (San Antonio, Texas)
  • Southside Community Federal Credit Union (Chicago)
  • Spruce Root, Inc. (Juneau, Alaska)
  • Stepping Stones Community Federal Credit Union (Wilmington, Del.)
  • Toledo Urban Federal Credit Union (Toledo, Ohio)
  • TRP Lending LLC (Chicago)
  • WESST Corp: Women’s Economic Self-Sufficiency Team Corp (Albuquerque, N.M.)
  • Women’s Opportunities Resource Center (Philadelphia)

“Inclusiv is delighted that financial cooperatives in Puerto Rico are participating in the Economic Mobility Corps created by CDFI Fund with AmeriCorps and administered through our partner LISC,” said Cathie Mahon, CEO of Inclusiv, a CDFI intermediary serving CDFI credit unions throughout the country. “This joint initiative will expand the capacity of these crucial financial institutions to build and deliver impact
in the communities they serve. In the last year and half, Inclusiv’s commitment to our Puerto Rico network helped much of the island’s cooperativas gain CDFI certification, connecting them to funding and resources that will be a catalyst for new community development initiatives and that will provide new economic opportunities for people.”

EMC is an opportunity for members representing diverse communities to join in and gain experience in the CDFI sector, uplifting their voices as a way to build local leadership. Members will serve 12-month terms at the selected CDFIs, earn a $20,000 living stipend, and have access to health insurance and childcare benefits, just as in the traditional AmeriCorps program. Once they successfully complete their
service, they can access a $6,345 education award through AmeriCorps to return to school or pay off existing qualified student loan debt.

For more information on the Economic Mobility Corps visit this link.

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About LISC

LISC is one the country’s largest community development organizations, helping forge vibrant, resilient communities across America. We work with residents and partners to close systemic gaps in health, wealth and opportunity and advance racial equity so that people and places can thrive. Since our founding in 1979, LISC has invested $24 billion to create more than 436,320 affordable homes and apartments and develop 74.4 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. For more, visit www.lisc.org.

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