CHAPTER 15H IOWA COMMISSION ON VOLUNTEER SERVICE
15H.1 FINDINGS.
15H.2 IOWA COMMISSION ON VOLUNTEER SERVICE ESTABLISHED.
15H.3 VOLUNTEER SERVICE COMMISSION MEMBERSHIP.
15H.4 ADMINISTRATION -- FUNDING.
15H.5 IOWA SUMMER YOUTH CORPS.
15H.6 IOWA GREEN CORPS PROGRAM.



        

15H.1 FINDINGS. The general assembly finds: 1. There is a compelling need for more civic participation to solve community and state problems, and to address many of the country's unmet social, environmental, educational, and public safety needs. 2. Promoting the capability of Iowa's people, communities, and enterprises to work collaboratively is vital to the long-term prosperity of this state. 3. Building and encouraging community services and volunteerism is an integral part of the state's future well-being, and requires cooperative efforts by the public and private sectors. 4. The development of a volunteer service program in Iowa requires an administrative vehicle which conforms with federal guidelines detailed in the federal National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993.

         Section History: Recent Form

         2005 Acts, ch 42, §1
        

15H.2 IOWA COMMISSION ON VOLUNTEER SERVICE ESTABLISHED. 1. The governor shall establish the Iowa commission on volunteer service which shall be part of the governor's office. The governor shall appoint the commission's members. 2. The mission of the commission is to advise and assist in the development and implementation of a comprehensive, statewide plan for promoting volunteer involvement and citizen participation in Iowa, as well as to serve as the state's liaison to national and state organizations which support the commission's mission. 3. The commission shall do all of the following: a. Prepare a three-year national service plan as called for under the federal National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. b. Fulfill federal program administration requirements, including provision of health care and child care for program participants. c. Submit annual state applications for federal funding of commission-selected AmeriCorps programs. d. Integrate AmeriCorps programs, the corporation for national and community service program, and the older American volunteer program into the state strategic service plan. e. Conduct local outreach to develop a comprehensive and inclusive state service plan and coordinate with existing programs in order to prevent unnecessary competition for private sources of funding. f. Provide technical assistance to service programs, including the development of training methods and curriculum materials. g. Develop a statewide recruitment and placement system for individuals interested in community service opportunities. h. Prepare quarterly reports on progress for submission to the governor and the general assembly. i. Administer the retired senior volunteer program.

         >Section History: Recent Form

         2005 Acts, ch 42, §2; 2006 Acts, ch 1010, §11
         Referred to in § 15H.5
        

15H.3 VOLUNTEER SERVICE COMMISSION MEMBERSHIP. 1. The Iowa commission on volunteer service shall consist of the following members: a. An individual with expertise in the educational training and developmental needs of youth. b. An individual with experience in promoting the involvement of older adults in service and volunteerism. c. A representative of community-based agencies within the state. d. The director of the department of education, or the director's designee. e. The executive director of the state board of regents, or the executive director's designee. f. A representative of local government. g. A representative of a local labor organization. h. A representative of a for-profit business. i. An individual between the ages of sixteen and twenty-five who is or has been a participant or supervisor in a volunteer or service program. j. A representative of the corporation for national and community service who shall serve as a nonvoting, ex officio member. 2. No more than twenty-five percent of the commission members shall be employees of the state, though additional state agency representatives may sit on the commission as nonvoting, ex officio members. 3. A commission member shall not vote on issues affecting organizations for which the member has served as a staff person or as a volunteer at any time during the preceding twelve-month period. 4. The membership of the commission shall comply with sections 69.16 and 69.16A. The membership of the commission shall also reflect the diversity of the state's population. 5. Members shall serve staggered terms of three years beginning July 1. Members of the commission shall serve no more than two three-year terms. Any vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment. 6. The chairperson of the commission shall be selected by the governor and serve at the governor's discretion.

         Section History: Recent Form

         2005 Acts, ch 42, §3; 2005 Acts, ch 175, §54, 129; 2006 Acts, ch
      1051, §1
        

15H.4 ADMINISTRATION -- FUNDING. 1. The governor's office shall serve as the lead agency for administration of the commission. The department of education, the state board of regents, the department of workforce development, and the department of economic development shall provide additional administrative support as necessary to fulfill the duties of the commission. All other state agencies shall provide assistance to the commission to ensure a fully coordinated state effort for promoting national and community service. 2. The commission may accept funds and in-kind services from other state, federal, and private entities.

         Section History: Recent Form

         2005 Acts, ch 42, §4
        

15H.5 IOWA SUMMER YOUTH CORPS. 1. For the purposes of this section, "service-learning" means a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. 2. The Iowa summer youth corps program is established to provide meaningful summer enrichment programming to Iowa youth. The program shall be administered by the Iowa commission on volunteer service using a competitive grant process to implement projects in accordance with program requirements. The commission shall adopt administrative rules for the program, including but not limited to incentives, grant criteria, and grantee selection processes. A percentage of the grants shall be designated by the commission to address the needs of city enterprise zones that meet the distress criteria outlined in section 15E.194. 3. The program shall provide grants for projects that utilize a service-learning approach during the summer months to enhance student achievement and summer learning retention, teach meaningful job skills to Iowa youth, engage Iowa youth in their communities, provide positive youth development experiences, and address the needs of youth from families with low income. The service-learning approach shall be integrated into the program using science, technology, engineering, mathematics, social studies, civic literacy, or other appropriate curricula identified by the department of education. 4. The program shall involve the youth participating in the program in service-learning activities with one or more of the following focuses: a. Energy conservation in the youth's community, including conducting educational outreach on energy conservation and working to improve energy efficiency in low-income housing and public spaces. b. Emergency and disaster preparedness. c. Improving access to and obtaining the benefits from providing computers and other emerging technologies in underserved and other appropriate areas of counties and cities, including but not limited to low-income communities, senior centers and communities, schools, libraries, and other public settings. d. Mentoring of middle school youth while involving all participants in service-learning to address unmet human, educational, environmental, public safety, or emergency disaster preparedness needs in the participants' community. e. Establishing or implementing summer of service projects during the summer months. Budgeting for a summer of service project shall include the cost of recruitment, training, and placement of service-learning coordinators. A summer of service project shall comply with all of the following requirements: (1) Youth participating in a project will be enrolled in grades six through twelve in the school year which begins immediately following the end of a project. (2) The focus of each project shall be community-based, service-learning activities that address unmet human, educational, environmental, emergency and disaster preparedness, and public service needs. Environmental needs addressed may include energy conservation, water quality, and land stewardship. (3) The activities for each project shall be intensive, structured, supervised, and designed to produce identifiable improvements to the community. The activities may include the extension of school year service-learning programs into the summer months. f. Performing community improvement projects, which may include but are not limited to a green corps program activity under section 15H.6 or other youth training program. 5. a. Funding for the Iowa summer youth corps program and the Iowa green corps program established pursuant to section 15H.6 shall be obtained from private sector, and local, state, and federal government sources, or from other available funds credited to the community programs account, which shall be created within the department of economic development under the authority of the commission. Moneys available in the account for a fiscal year are appropriated to the commission to be used for the programs. b. The commission shall manage the program in a manner to maximize the leveraging of federal, local, and private funding opportunities that increase or amplify program impact and service-learning opportunities. The commission shall also encourage collaboration with, and utilization of, other national, local, and nonprofit programs engaged in community service or addressing the needs of youth from families with low income. c. The commission shall give priority consideration to approving those projects that target communities that have disproportionately high rates of juvenile crime or low rates of high school graduation or that have been designated as city enterprise zones that meet the distress criteria outlined in section 15E.194. d. The commission shall include progress information concerning implementation of the program in the quarterly reports made to the governor and the general assembly in accordance with section 15H.2. 6. a. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of chapter 8A, subchapter IV, or chapter 96, a person participating in the Iowa summer youth corps program shall be exempt from merit system requirements and shall not be eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits. b. If a stipend is provided to a youth participating in the program, the youth shall be age fourteen through eighteen. c. A youth participating in a summer of service project that either has an education award or no compensation shall comply with the grade level requirements specified for summer of service project participation. d. A project that uses funding for an AmeriCorps young adult component within the project design shall limit participation in the component to young persons who are age sixteen through twenty-four at the time of enrollment in the project.

         Section History: Recent Form

         2009 Acts, ch 161, §1, 4
         Referred to in § 15H.6
        

15H.6 IOWA GREEN CORPS PROGRAM. 1. The Iowa commission on volunteer service, in collaboration with the department of natural resources, the department of workforce development, the office of energy independence, and the utilities board of the department of commerce, shall establish an Iowa green corps program. The commission shall work with the collaborating agencies and nonprofit agencies in developing a strategy for attracting additional financial resources for the program from other sources which may include but are not limited to utilities, private sector, and local, state, and federal government funding sources. The financial resources received shall be credited to the community programs account created pursuant to section 15H.5. 2. The program shall utilize AmeriCorps or Iowa summer youth corps program volunteers to provide capacity building activities, training, and implementation of major transformative projects in communities. The project selection shall emphasize energy efficiency, historic preservation, neighborhood development, and storm water reduction and management. 3. The capacity building activities shall be targeted in communities that are already working with existing community improvement programs, including but not limited to the Iowa great places program established under section 303.3C, the green streets and main street Iowa programs administered by the department of economic development, and disaster remediation activities by communities located within an area declared to be a disaster area in a declaration issued by the president of the United States or the governor.

         Section History: Recent Form

         2009 Acts, ch 161, §2, 4
         Referred to in § 15H.5

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