Eleanor Holmes Norton
**FILE** Eleanor Holmes Norton (Courtesy photo)

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton introduced a bill Monday that would expand AmeriCorps by 500,000 people thereby helping to reduce the nation’s jobless rate among young Americans.

The bill 鈥 the Promoting National Service and Reducing Youth Unemployment Act 鈥 would allow the program to let young people who have mostly completed college or high school earn a stipend to support themselves, as well as an education award, while gaining valuable work experience.

The legislation would allow states and localities to boost personnel for badly needed services, such as after-school and elderly programs, without new administrative structures or bureaucratic requirements.

鈥淓xpanding AmeriCorps would have immediate benefits both for our economy and for young Americans still struggling to find work,鈥 Norton said. 鈥淭hese young people who have worked hard to get their high school education or college degrees deserve better than competing for unpaid internships. They deserve the opportunity to earn a living while serving their communities.鈥

Norton said the bill would establish a minimum wage for any AmeriCorps and national member to be at least 200% of the federal poverty line.

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