The North End Community Improvement Collaborative, Inc. (NECIC) has announced two full-time AmeriCorps VISTA opportunities to support the North End Local Foods Initiative and a Workforce Development Demonstration Project for a 12 month period. VISTA members receive a monthly living stipend, paid mileage reimbursement, childcare allowance, professional development, and an educational credit or cash stipend at the end of the VISTA service. In both projects the focus is building local capacity to address healthy food access and employment opportunities. The VISTA will ensure that the tools, processes, systems, networks and outcomes will all remain for the benefit of the community beyond the completion of their VISTA service.

The Local Food Initiative VISTA will help to establish a Market Garden Incubator Program that will include a market garden training course and shared access to garden resources (land, tools, seeds, plants, etc.), support the start-up of at least one new Farmers’ Market in the North End of Mansfield, and work towards an online local food hub which would connect growers with individual and institutional buyers via a website. Those interested in applying for the Local Foods Initiative VISTA position should apply online before April 3.

The Workforce Development Demonstration Project VISTA aims at improving access to employment opportunities by supporting a collaborative public/private partnership addressing labor instability and the situational and skills challenges facing local workforce and businesses. The project is grounded in sound research, built on intentional collaboration, and is informed by the varying perspectives of the individuals, local businesses, and the community at-large. The application, due by April 3, for the Workforce Development VISTA is online.

VISTA is an acronym for Volunteers in Service to America and was founded in 1965 as a national service program designed specifically to fight poverty in America. In 1993, VISTA was incorporated into the AmeriCorps network of programs. The local VISTA opportunities were made available to NECIC as a member and sub-site of the Ohio Community Development Corporation Association (OCDCA).

NECIC is also pleased to announce the availability of two summer internships in Office Management and Neighborhood Services. Applicants must be a student enrolled in an accredited college or university. If interested please submit cover letter and resume by April 3 to P.O. Box 954 Mansfield, Ohio 44907-0954 or contact Leona Smith at 419-525-3101 for more information.