About the Program
Championed by the Department of Neighborhood Engagement, the VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) program will span all City departments and will focus on creating equity and building capacity in the areas of economic opportunity, environmental stewardship, and healthy futures.
Ten VISTAs and one VISTA Leader will serve full time for one year helping to build the capacity of the organization and community in Lancaster City. Each VISTA will contribute to the goals of the project by developing & implementing an engagement plan for initiatives, organizing & attending events to provide opportunities for city staff & residents to engage with each other, & collecting data to track those efforts.
The VISTA Leader will work to support and build the capacity of individual members serving in the VISTA program with the City of Lancaster. The VISTA leader must have previously served a full term of service with an AmeriCorps program or the Peace Corps and have demonstrated exemplary skills and leadership in community service.
Community Planning & Economic Development
Current Open Positions
Language Access/Welcoming City Standards
Green Infrastructure & Sustainability
Community Planning & Economic Development
Community Development & Lead Safety
Police & Community
Fire Prevention & Safety
Applications are now open!
VISTAs are expected to approach this work with trauma informed guiding principles, be prepared to assist residents in accessing various community resources to meet their needs & have a knowledge of social factors & causes of systemic inequities. The ideal candidates will have the ability to learn to utilize appropriate methods for interacting sensitively, effectively, & professionally with persons from diverse cultural & socioeconomic backgrounds.
As a VISTA, you will be part of a team of 11 AmeriCorps VISTAs who will work with City Departments and the community to provide outreach about City programs, increasing language access, expanding recruitment efforts, and creating more avenues for residents to take part in community activities and decision-making.
The City of Lancaster is in south central Pennsylvania and serves as the county seat of Lancaster County and is one of the oldest inland towns in the United States. The city has a total area of 7.4 square miles and is centrally located between Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia.
The City of Lancaster was certified as a Welcoming City in 2019 and was the first city in Pennsylvania to receive this designation. Lancaster’s local policies and programs were compared to the comprehensive Welcoming Standard, which is an extensive roadmap for building welcoming communities guided by the following seven framework categories that define a truly welcoming place: Government Leadership, Equitable Access, Civic Engagement, Connected Communities, Education, Economic Development, and Safe Communities and Lancaster received recertification status in 2022.
The City strives to ensure strong neighborhoods, safe streets, sound government, and secure incomes for all residents, as detailed in our Block by Block strategic plan.
AmeriCorps Member Benefits
Receive a modest living allowance to cover basic expenses during your service term.
Money for College and Trade School
The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is offered to individuals who complete a term of service and can be used to pay for a range of educational expenses, like repaying qualified student loans or future tuition payments. You can earn up to two full Education Awards with multiple service terms.
Loan Deferment and Interest Forbearance
Individuals in approved AmeriCorps positions are eligible for forbearance for most federally-guaranteed student loans. In addition, interest payments that accrue during service may be eligible for repayment by AmeriCorps.
Jump-start your career and gain transferable skills employers value including leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving. Once you complete your service, leverage the Employers of National Service network, which connects you with hundreds of employers from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors who are committed to hiring alumni.
Join a network of like-minded leaders who are passionate about improving communities. AmeriCorps alumni receive access to special benefits and resources. For example, many colleges and universities match the Education Award and offer additional AmeriCorps scholarships.
About the Position
What does a successful VISTA candidate bring to the work?
- Desire to effect change
- Optimistic attitude
- Desire to learn
- Desire to engage with others
What skills and abilities may help you in this role?
- Some experience in an office environment
- Experience with Microsoft Office Suite
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
- Ability to work in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment
- Solid organizational skills and attention to detail
- Strong verbal or written communication skills
- Solid understanding of social media
What will you receive for your service?
- Practical experience working directly with City residents and employees
- Shadowing, mentoring, and training opportunities with skilled professionals
- Working directly with City government leadership
- Opportunity to organize, attend and participate in networking events and company meetings and programs
- Develop experience working on a wide variety of projects
- Gain exposure to a fast-paced, collaborative environment
- Transportation assistance
- Technology such as a laptop and cell phone