SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A roundtable discussion was held at Educare in Springfield
with Congressman Richard Neal and the CEO of Americorps, Michael Smith, to talk with members of Americorps.

Recruiting came up to Thursday, as Americorps is hoping to draw more members in,
something that has proven to be more of a challenge since the pandemic started.

The discussion happened at Educare Springfield, which offers early childhood care and has an Americorps program. Child care has also run into its own staffing challenges with the pandemic. It was something democrats wanted in the infrastructure legislation but didn’t happen.

22News asked Congressman Neal about what is being done. He said it is a human and economic issue that has prevented women from returning to the workforce, “As the economy has improved and people have gone back to work the other interesting part about it is still the number of women who’ve not returned to work because they do not have adequate child care.”

Americorps focuses on filling the gap in communities, offering aid from everything from disaster services to education. There are currently 7,000 Americorps members across 1,000 locations in Massachusetts.