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AmeriCorps of Southwest Oregon and United Community Action Network
AmeriCorps of Southwest Oregon and United Community Action Network

Douglas, Josephine, Coos, Curry and Jackson County

UCA helps build the capacity of local organizations by strengthening volunteerism

My experience really helped me see where different people are at, the barriers that they face in their lives. I got to help them take important first steps in getting new jobs.
Jennifer A.
2016 UCA AmeriCorps Alumni

Where We Serve

UCAN’s United Communities AmeriCorps (UCA) department operates in Douglas, Josephine, Coos, Curry and Jackson County. Together, these counties comprise Southwest Oregon.

Southwestern Oregon is an outdoor lover’s paradise. It features sections of rugged Pacific coastline, windswept dunes, the Rogue and North Umpqua Wild and Scenic Rivers, and stunning Cascade waterfalls. The region includes Crater Lake National Park, Oregon Caves National Monument and Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

Medford, Jackson County’s county seat, has 87,353 residents. Other major regional cities include Grants Pass (39,475) Coos Bay/North Bend (26,380) and Roseburg (23,701). Medford has an international airport, and Interstate-5 runs through the heart of the area. Southern Oregon University is located in Jackson County, and Umpqua, Rogue and Southwestern Oregon Community College campuses are found in the region’s other counties.

Local Challenges

Southwest Oregon has been undergoing a challenging transition away from a timber-based economy. New opportunities have arisen, such as the development of local wineries, and others have expanded, such as those associated with healthcare. But many former timber workers lack the education and/or skills needed to obtain work in these fields.

So unemployment rates regularly exceed the State average. Median incomes are very low. Many residents suffer from poor health, and hunger is a problem throughout the region. Poverty rates are particularly high among the area’s young children.

What We Do

UCA helps build the capacity of local organizations by strengthening volunteerism. At the same time, UCA supports efforts aimed at improving:

  • education,
  • economic opportunity,
  • health and
  • disaster preparedness.

UCA also focuses on environmental stewardship.

Become a Member

As an AmeriCorps member, you can help a variety of non-profit, educational and government agencies working to address these problems. You’ll not only have the opportunity to directly serve local residents, you’ll work to build systems that enhance our local network of providers.

And you’ll do so while exploring your own interests, putting your values into action. You’ll be part of our team. We’ll provide you the support you need to flourish, with trainings and workshops on topics that will help you grow.

Southwestern Oregon has so much to offer. Check out our listing of positions and see how we can help you move forward in your career and your life!

Service Down by the Bay

AmeriCorps member MacKenna Hainey is serving at the Charleston Marine Life Center (CMLC) team after completing her Masters’ of Science at the University of Oregon. As the CMLC’s Marine Science Exploration Leader, she is expanding one-week youth mentorship programs piloted by our first AmeriCorps member into repeating multi-month programs.
AmeriCorps member MacKenna Hainey is serving at the Charleston Marine Life Center
MacKenna Hainey
AmeriCorps Member

With MacKenna, local teens are getting hands-on learning experience with aquaria care, experimental design, habitat exploration, the power of art in science communication, and strategies for moving on in the sciences in college. MacKenna is also mentoring community college students, as they explore career options in marine science. Her students are discovering what it takes to maintain aquaria, helping with animal check-ups and surgical procedures, and discovering unfamiliar animals in tidepools. Some have even been helping prepare a whale skeleton for future articulation and display (using horse poop!).

Throughout, MacKenna provides opportunities, gives encouragement, nudges students to make their own discoveries, and answers questions about what it’s really like in college and graduate school.

Become a Host Site

UCA is always looking for new host sites for our members. If you’ve never hosted a member, you’ll be amazed at the dedication a new member brings to your work. Your member can help you pilot new programming, support innovation, and build your organization’s capacity.

Hosting a member can serve as a stepping stone in developing your own workforce. By the end of their service, you’ll have developed a bond with your member. You’ll know that if you hire them into a new position, they’ll already have knowledge of your organization and your work.

Regardless, your organization will have helped train someone with a passion for service, someone who may well end up working somewhere else in your community. Your community will benefit from the skills you impart to your member.

Join Our Advisory Board

Want to support the great work that AmeriCorps offers in our region?

UCA could not succeed without the support, insight and commitment of members of our advisory board. Board members advocate on behalf of UCA. Members advise us on programs, ideas, and challenges as they arise. Whether we are looking into new program innovations or seeking community support, you can help us maintain the vitality of our program.

Want More Info?

If you would like more information about the UCA’s AmeriCorps department, being a host site, or our advisory council, give us a call at (541) 492-3919 or e-mail us at