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AmeriCorps Director stresses the value of volunteers

Nearly 62 million Americans volunteer in their communities, an effort with an economic impact valued at $173 billion. That's according to Bill Basl, Director of AmeriCorps, who spoke with WBFO News to spotlight National Volunteer Week.

While volunteers often provide the fabric of a community, Basl says the volunteer can also benefit in the process.

"For those individuals who perhaps are unemployed or looking for work, we find in the analysis we do that a person who is unemployed and volunteers is  27 percent more likely to find employment," Basl said.

According to AmeriCorps statistics, 900,000 members have provided 1.2 billion hours of service in various capacities in communities around the country. Basl encourages those graduating from college this year to explore what AmeriCorps has to offer.

"It would be an excellent opportunity to do that now. Our prime recruiting period starts during the summer, July and August. Most AmeriCorps programs begin in September," Basl said.

"While individuals are serving, if they have student loans, we pay the interest on those students loans. So, we have something called 'loan forbearance.' As an AmeriCorps member, we cover your loans while you're serving."