SBA Administrator and Obama Cabinet member Maria Contreras-Sweet and Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet signed a five-page set of commitments designed to deepen the working relationship between the two organizations. One key feature of the agreement includes enhancing employment opportunities for returned Peace Corps volunteers. Another involves intentionally supplying current volunteers with information relating to targeted SBA programs. This information will help volunteers expand business and job creation opportunities in the countries where they serve.
"It gives me great pride that the Peace Corps recognizes the value of empowering its volunteers to expand business and job creation in the areas where they serve," said Contreras-Sweet. "Small businesses are the engine of job creation in the United States. With the new SBA/Peace Corps agreement, this entrepreneurial spirit can be exported to improve living conditions around the world. At the same time, our agency will proudly continue to recruit returning Peace Corps volunteers to further our mission helping small businesses start, thrive and grow."
In crafting the agreement, SBA and Peace Corps leaders coalesced around the complementary missions of their respective organizations.
"Through this new partnership, we look forward to tapping into your expertise at the SBA and working with you to help empower and support entrepreneurs across the globe," said Hessler-Radelet. "We also look forward to strengthening the many already-existing connections between our two families. We are proud that so many returned Peace Corps volunteers have found opportunities to put their skills and experiences to work back here at home with the SBA."
The new agreement enhances the Peace Corps' economic development efforts by providing volunteers with greater opportunity to utilize SBA's business and jobs creation tools. The Peace Corps will now specifically inform and train its volunteers in utilizing SBA's empowering resources, including its online entrepreneurship courses.
Last year, the Corporation for National and Community Services (CNCS) recognized SBA as a member of the Employers for National Service, reflecting the agency's commitment to hiring returning AmeriCorps and Peace Corps volunteers. CNCS engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads President Obama's national call to service initiative, United We Serve.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and since January 13, 2012 has served as a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S.Virgin Islands and Guam. www.sba.gov .
The Peace Corps sends Americans with a passion for service abroad on behalf of the United States to work with communities and create lasting change. Volunteers develop sustainable solutions to address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. Through their Peace Corps experience, Volunteers gain a unique cultural understanding and a life-long commitment to service that positions them to succeed in today's global economy. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 225,000 Americans of all ages have served in 140 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Release Number: 17-03
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SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration