Stewards Individual Placement Program leaders discuss how they are keeping AmeriCorps members safe

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) -The Stewards Individual Placement Program is tasked with assigning AmeriCorps Members and AmeriCorps VISTAs to their work placement programs across the country. 

For the eastern region, the program works out of the Beckley office, but they have 100 interns placed throughout the country.

In wake of COVID-19, Corps Director April Elkins Badtke says the office has to be more vigilant about keeping up with not only what’s happening locally but also across the country. 

“We know that through learning about this virus, it varies from community to community and state by state, and so we are staying on top of that,” Elkins said. “We are tracking it. We have documents internally for staff so that we can see what states are in a full shelter in place or what some of those statuses are so that we can then make sure our members are doing that.” 

All of their interns are now using a tele-work service to help them work remotely. For interns who typically do physical work within communities, they’re shifting their focus. 

“They’re working from their computers doing professional development, you know, kind of researching more information about their sites, where they’re serving, what kind of techniques they’ll be using out in the field,” Program Coordinator Ryan Tant said. 

Many of these interns are far from home and by themselves, so the placement program is also checking in on them to make sure they’re staying healthy both physically and mentally. 

“We are sharing resources,” Elkins said. “We are doing phone calls with them. We are being more vigilant to check in just so there’s more interaction, and so they know we’re here and we’re listening to them.” 

The Stewards Individual Placement Program is still recruiting and placing and Elkins encouraged anyone interested to check out their website by clicking here.

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Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.