The Mercy Corps Northwest AmeriCorps VISTA Program is now seeking individuals passionate about economic justice to join a cohort of AmeriCorps members that will begin a year of public service on August 16th, 2021. Our VISTAs develop professional, nonprofit, and public service skills while strengthening communities across the Pacific Northwest.
Mercy Corps Northwest AmeriCorps members oversee projects that build the long-term capacity of their communities through financial education, job skills training, microenterprise & asset development, affordable housing, homeless services, food security, and disaster preparedness. While the programs that AmeriCorps members develop endure for years, AmeriCorps members perform only indirect service; interaction with clients will be limited and the member will spend the majority of their time in an office setting*. However, AmeriCorps service offers the opportunity to gain advanced project management skills and exercise creativity in implementing a program—skills highly desired by employers.
*Please note: AmeriCorps members serving with the Mercy Corps Northwest cohort are placed in different nonprofits in Oregon and Washington; most positions are located in the Portland Metro Area. Please check the location of the specific position before applying and note that in some cases, rural sites may require that you have reliable transportation. Currently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most VISTAs are serving remotely from home. At this time, VISTAs are not required to relocate to serve prior to their start date unless it’s safe to do so. The decision to relocate and serve on-site will be determined by the VISTA in partnership with their host organization. More information on COVID-19 and AmeriCorps service can be found on the AmeriCorps website here.
AmeriCorps Members and Leaders serving with the Mercy Corps Northwest cohort receive several benefits including a modest living allowance, an end of service benefit of either an education award of approximately $6000 or a cash stipend, MCNW-exclusive supplemental benefits of $4000, and more. Early applications are encouraged. Selections for this role will be made on a rolling basis. Full details on pay and benefits are located in our FAQ.
Eligibility and Qualifications for Service
To be eligible for AmeriCorps service, a candidate must:
Desired Skills and Qualifications:
Please note: AmeriCorps positions may require their own specific skills and qualifications not shown in the list above. Please see more details on skills and qualifications for specific AmeriCorps positions in the current listings linked below.
Located in Portland, Oregon, Mercy Corps Northwest (MCNW) is the domestic arm of Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian aid organization. MCNW programs are designed to increase economic self-sufficiency and financial inclusion through microenterprise development for aspiring business owners & entrepreneurs, education and skills training for incarcerated women, and capacity building services through the AmeriCorps VISTA program. As a VISTA Leader, you will serve directly with our Americorps VISTA Program alongside our second VISTA Leader and be the facilitator to a team of 21 AmeriCorps VISTAs who are managed by MCNW and stationed at nonprofit organizations and public agencies across Oregon and Washington. AmeriCorps VISTA members and Leaders perform only indirect service; interaction with clients will be limited and the Leader will spend the majority of their time in an office setting or remotely until it is safe to serve in the office. However, the VISTA Leader will help alleviate poverty by ensuring that the VISTA members serving with the MCNW team have the support, resources, and training needed to have a successful experience and positive outcomes.
Leader duties will include: mentoring members; planning and coordinating member training and events; monitoring and supporting member progress through meetings, data collection, tracking, and site visits; supporting member recruitment and onboarding; and strengthening program outreach and marketing. Learn more and apply to this position here.
PLEASE NOTE: Individuals are only eligible to serve as VISTA Leaders if they have successfully completed at least one term of service with AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), or Peace Corps. For more information on the difference between Members and Leaders, see our Applicant FAQ here.
Warm Springs Community Action Team (WSCAT), located in Warm Springs, Oregon, promotes community development by empowering individuals and groups of people to realize their potential, become self-reliant, and affect positive change for themselves, their families, and their community. The Warm Springs Indian Reservation, home of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, covers 1,000 miles in rural Wasco and Jefferson Counties. The VISTA member placed at our agency will assist in developing a Small Business Incubator Program and a Youth Program, programs which promote entrepreneurship and education for low-income individuals on the reservation. However, the WSCAT VISTA member will play a dynamic role in ending poverty by designing and implementing an outreach campaign and developing processes for the Commissary Small Business Incubator. The VISTA member will also assist in building the capacity of WSCAT by developing sustainable food partnerships, mentorship programs, and strategies to recruit youth. Learn more and apply to this position here.
Location: Warm Springs, OR
Tananáwit, located in Warm Springs, Oregon, provides educational and economic development opportunities by empowering our people to build knowledge and understanding of traditional and contemporary Native art of the Columbia River Plateau. Our community is located on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation, covering more than 1,000 square miles in Rural Central Oregon. The community has the highest unemployment rate and poverty level in Oregon. The VISTA member placed at our agency will assist in Native Arts Development, a program that facilitates entrepreneurship for low-income artists on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. the Tananáwit VISTA will plan a dynamic role in ending poverty by developing process improvements and training, organizing events, conducting outreach, and building the capacity of Tananáwit to support low-income artists. With a Tananáwit store open in a temporary location now and expected to open in its permanent location by the end of 2021, the VISTA member will play an integral role in the policy development, recruitment, and training for the store. Learn more and apply to this position here.
Proud Ground, located in Portland, Oregon creates permanently affordable homeownership opportunities using the Community Land Trust model to ensure multi-generational stability. Our community is composed of members of Proud Ground’s Community Land Trust, reaching both rural and urban communities throughout Oregon. The VISTA member placed at our agency will assist in developing program communications, coordinating evaluations, and designing pre- and post-purchase educational workshops. The Proud Ground VISTA member will play a dynamic role in ending poverty by improving the organization’s communications to better support homebuyers and homeowners.. Learn more and apply to this position here.
Unity Shelter (US), located in Corvallis, Oregon strives to expand desperately needed shelter options for those without a safe place to call home. Our mission is providing safe shelter through collaborative care. Our programs include a shelter for women, shelter for men, and a transitional housing program for any gender plus couples and families. Our community is a college town of about 55,000 people in the Willamette Valley, 1 hour from the coast and less than 2 hours from Portland. The VISTA member placed at our agency will assist in developing our donor and volunteer management systems. These systems will strengthen US’s capacity to sustain operations and help move more individuals from homelessness to housing. The US VISTA member will play a dynamic role in ending poverty by building and implementing key tools for recruiting and retaining donors and volunteers. They will assist in the design and implementation of volunteer and donor outreach events and will establish a grant writing repository to streamline and enhance US’s grant writing efforts. Learn more and apply to this position here.
Historic Parkrose, located in Portland, Oregon, strengthens community vibrancy through equity and economic opportunity. Our community is an urban neighborhood on Northeast Portland’s urban fringe. The VISTA member placed at our agency will continue assisting the development of flexible pathways for houseless and housing-insecure residents to reach income stability. The Historic Parkrose VISTA will play a dynamic role in ending poverty by engaging business, nonprofit, youth, resident, and houseless stakeholders to devise district-level solutions to help houseless and housing-insecure residents out of poverty. The member will create documents and internal processes to systematically train volunteers and gather input from district stakeholders, and recruit partners for a network of collaborating service providers. Additionally, the VISTA will help establish a series of career discovery and new job readiness workshops for low-income youth of color. Learn more and apply to this position here.
Mercy Corps Northwest (MCNW) – Puget Sound, based in Tacoma, Washington, delivers programming that supports disadvantaged entrepreneurs in the greater Puget Sound Region by empowering them through financing, financial and educational resources and asset building approaches. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, we anticipate the member serving with our Puget Sound team will serve remotely until it is safe to return to in-person service, likely in October, 2021. The Tacoma-based VISTA will build MCNW’s capacity to serve existing clients as well as expand our reach to include some of the most disadvantaged communities particularly around the project area of Tacoma. The MCNW VISTA will play an important role in the organization, by supporting outreach efforts and vetting of partners, working with the Program Manager on project tool development and refinement, proposal development,and developing other outreach materials. By building the capacity of this program, the VISTA member will be supporting the financial resilience and asset development of low-income entrepreneurs, with a particular focus on low-income households and black, indigenous, and people of color. We seek someone with a passion for supporting disadvantaged entrepreneurs, experience with outreach, and excellent writing skills to be part of the MCNW team. Learn more and apply to this position here.
Mercy Corps Northwest (MCNW) in Walla Walla, Washington supports underserved entrepreneurs by empowering them through financial and educational resources. We work with Walla Walla community members, largely from the Lantinx community, to provide them with loans, grants, and training that meet their needs and empower them to be financially resilient. The VISTA member placed at our Walla Walla office will assist in expanding our reach to include some of the most disadvantaged communities. AThe MCNW VISTA will play an important role in the organization, designing the educational material that is shared with existing clients and creating social media content to share with our growing community. We seek someone with a passion for supporting underserved entrepreneurs, experience with social media, and excellent writing skills to be part of the MCNW team in Walla Walla. Learn more and apply to this position here.
The Community Cycling Center located in Portland, Oregon, believes that all Portlanders— regardless of income or background—should have the opportunity to experience the joy, freedom, and health benefits of bicycling. The VISTA member placed at our agency will help alleviate poverty by assisting in developing our food delivery and workforce development programs, programs that aim to tackle food insecurity and provide bicycle-based workforce training for low income youth. The Community Cycling Center VISTA member will play a dynamic role in ending poverty by conducting community outreach to food pantries in East Portland and expanding food delivery by bike programs. In addition, the VISTA member will expand and refine a bicycle-focused workforce development program, conducting outreach to low income youth as well as creating a cohesive job training program from existing programming. Learn more and apply to this position here
As the domestic arm of the global organization of Mercy Corps, Mercy Corps Northwest, located in Portland, Oregon, is focused on creating innovative solutions to tough local challenges, including limited access to finance, recidivism, structural inequality and the intergenerational cycle of poverty. The VISTA member will be placed within the MCNW Education Department and Women’s Business Center (WBC) and will assist in developing an online education platform for low income entrepreneurs. Ahe VISTA will help to alleviate poverty in rural and other underserved communities by developing partnerships and awareness of MCNW entrepreneurship resources in communities that have the greatest need, while continuing to build resources into the online platform that will meet those needs. The VISTA member will identify and train partner organizations throughout the state that work in communities who would benefit from entrepreneurship training. The member will help to develop guidelines and conventions around conducting education activities online from the MCNW Portland office. Additionally, the member will continue to build out additional resources throughout the year to benefit new and existing vulnerable small businesses, helping them to increase their technical knowledge and economic stability. Learn more and apply to this position here.
Mental Health & Addiction Association of Oregon (MHAAO), located in Portland, Oregon, is an inclusive peer-run organization dedicated to self-direction, honoring the voice of lived experience of those working towards mental health and addiction recovery. Majority of our community encompasses both rural and urban populations in the tri-county area of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington County. The VISTA member placed at our agency will help alleviate poverty by assisting in developing our Recovery Campus, a project that will address mental health crises as well as provide support to low-income individuals in financial literacy, job training, and job placement. The MHAAO VISTA member will play a dynamic role in ending poverty by supporting grant research, grant writing, and coordinating deadlines within a larger grant writing team. The VISTA member will also support fundraising efforts to support the workforce development program through creating virtual peer-to-peer campaigns and maintaining donor management software to motivate donors to support this project. Additionally, the VISTA member will build the capacity of our Money Basics website content and curricula to reach a larger audience in need of financial literacy. Learn more and apply to this position here.
Meals on Wheels People located in Portland, Oregon, ensures that no senior will go hungry or experience social isolation. Our community is a mix of urban and rural populations across Multnomah, Clark and Washington counties. The VISTA member placed at our agency will conduct community outreach, support sustainability for our Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, and develop processes for converting more donors into sustainer’s circle members (monthly donations). You’ll be part of a fast-paced development team that quickly adapts to any challenges. The Meals on Wheels People VISTA member will play a dynamic role in ending poverty by developing Meals on Wheels People’s capacity to connect with individuals, businesses, partners, and communities while establishing strong donor practices, thereby expanding the reach and sustainability of services to increase food security for low-income children, families, and seniors. Learn more and apply to this position here.
PBDG Foundation, located in Portland, Oregon, improves the business conditions of small minority and women-owned firms in the construction industry through education, training, and mentorship. Our community is any under-resourced small construction firm in urban, suburban, and rural areas of Oregon and SW Washington. The VISTA member placed at our agency will assist in developing our Prosperity Blueprint, a community needs assessment that will define our holistic programs and develop the capacity of the PBDG Foundation to deploy microenterprise and financial technical assistance, ultimately creating and retaining jobs across Oregon. However, the PBDG Foundation VISTA member will play a dynamic role in ending poverty by creating a robust assessment of the needs of under-resourced BIPOC communities in Oregon and advising on the implementation of subsequent program strategy. PBDG Foundation is seeking a VISTA member experienced with needs assessment and data analysis to join our small, collaborative team.Learn more and apply to this position here.
SJCO, located in Portland, Oregon, empowers our St. Johns and Cathedral Park neighbors through people-centered economic development. Our community has a small neighborhood feel within the larger metropolitan area. The VISTA member placed at our agency will assist in developing our Workforce and Business Development programs that connect unemployed low-income neighbors with living wage jobs. The SJCO VISTA member will play a dynamic role in ending poverty by conducting employer outreach and creating and maintaining an online jobs board at the neighborhood level. The VISTA member will also create online resources for local entrepreneurs, including a vacant storefront directory and calendar of upcoming workshops. They will create guides to ensure the continuity of these resources upon completion of the service term. Finally, the VISTA will conduct outreach to local social service agencies that exclusively serve low-income individuals to intentionally connect these individuals with the resources created under the project, as well as existing resources at SJCO. Learn more and apply to this position here.
Unite Oregon is a statewide organization headquartered in Portland, OR. Led by people of color, immigrants and refugees, rural communities, and people experiencing poverty, we work across Oregon to build a unified intercultural movement for justice. Our community is located in Oregon’s largest and most diverse city. The VISTA member placed at our organization will support the East Portland Community Prosperity (EPCP) Initiative to build wealth for low-income immigrants, refugees, and people of color. The Unite Oregon VISTA member will play a dynamic role ending poverty by building capacity for a workforce training program and small business incubator as part of the EPCP to provide financial empowerment opportunities and connect low-income immigrants, refugees, and people of color to living wage jobs in traditional and emerging sectors. The VISTA member will support the continuation of the EPCP initiative by modeling implementation of a workforce development program, expanding partnerships, piloting the application of a business coaching program model, and building capacity for fundraising efforts to maintain sustainability. Learn more and apply to this position here.