Need to build your job skills? Like working with disadvantaged people and at-risk youth? Honor Dr. King this week by checking out these Washington Service Corps jobs that can improve your community.

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Over this Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, many organizations have encouraged people to observe the holiday by finding ways to serve their local communities. This week, to honor Dr. King and his message, some job seekers who have a keen interest in working with low-income families, at-risk youths and other disadvantaged people may be eligible for a long-term project that can help build job skills and even put a little cash in their pockets.

The Washington Service Corps – the state chapter of the federal AmeriCorps program administered by the state’s Employment Security Department – said this week that it needs people 17 years and older “who are interested in making a difference in the lives of disadvantaged people” to apply for temporary, full-time positions for several nonprofit organizations and government projects.

In addition to adding valuable experience and professional development skills to your resume, the program pays a modest stipend for living expense (about $1,200 per month), basic health insurance costs (minus vision coverage), workers’ compensation coverage, child care, postponement of student loan payments and the waiver of interest on those loans during the term of service. Upon satisfactory completion of the service, participants may also receive up to $5,730 in the form of a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award that can be applied to future education or payment of qualified student loans.

The list of available positions is always changing, but as of Jan.15, Washington Service Corps said there were a number of job opening in the cities of Seattle, Renton, Everett, Tacoma and elsewhere. Here’s a quick sample in the Puget Sound region:

  • Neighborhood House, Seattle. Provide education and employment services to low-income, immigrant and refugee communities in King County by helping them find stable jobs or apply for college.
  • Seattle-King Workforce Development Council, Partnership to Reconnect program, Renton. Reach out to low-income youth in South King County to provide information and resources about job and educational opportunities.
  • WorkSource Everett’s “Return to Work” program, Everett. Through workshops and one-on-one consultations, help job seekers use technology to write resumes, and search for and apply for jobs.
  • Pierce County Housing Authority’s “Ready to Rent” program, Tacoma. Help a diverse population of Pierce County residents find stable housing, learn basic financial education and complete housing applications.
  • Lutheran Community Services Northwest, Tacoma. Provide social services to refugees, immigrants and others in need, including helping people search for jobs, write resumes, submit applications and prepare for interviews.

Time to land these positions, however, is running out. Applications for these Washington Service Corps jobs are due Friday, Jan. 22, and the service will begin Feb. 1. The program requires qualified candidates to commit 40 hours per week to the positions for a six-month stint, from Feb. 1 through the end of July.

For the latest information about each position or to apply, please visit the Washington Service Corps website or call 888-713-6080. This new year, perhaps it’s time to help build up your own skills by helping others.

Randy Woods is a writer and editor in the Puget Sound business publishing arena and a veteran of the local job-search scene. Email him at