- President Biden has announced the creation of the American Climate Corps, an interagency partnership led by AmeriCorps.
- The initiative aims to address climate change and build a workforce pipeline for good-paying union jobs in the clean energy economy.
- One of the first major partnerships is a five-year, $15 million agreement between AmeriCorps and the US Forest Service to establish the AmeriCorps NCCC Forest Corps.
- AmeriCorps NCCC Forest Corps members will receive a compensation package equivalent to $15 an hour and other benefits.
- AmeriCorps has a history of tackling climate change, investing more than $117 million in climate resilience and environmental conservation in FY 2022.
In celebration of AmeriCorps’ 30th anniversary, President Biden announced the formation of the American Climate Corps, a new initiative to combat climate change and build a sustainable future. AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service, will serve as the hub for this initiative, which also involves partnerships with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Departments of Labor, Interior, Agriculture, and Energy.
A New Era of Youth-Powered Climate Action
Michael D. Smith, CEO of AmeriCorps, stated that the American Climate Corps marks “a new era of youth-powered climate action.” The initiative aims to improve lives nationwide while addressing challenges such as climate change and unequal access to quality jobs and education. Through partnerships with various organizations and educational institutions, the American Climate Corps aims to build a skilled and certified workforce for both public service and the private sector.
AmeriCorps NCCC Forest Corps
One of the first significant partnerships under this initiative is a five-year, $15 million agreement between AmeriCorps and the US Forest Service to establish the AmeriCorps NCCC Forest Corps. The first cohort of 80 members will begin service in the summer of 2024. They will focus on conserving national forests and grasslands, mitigating wildfire risks, and supporting reforestation efforts.
Compensation and Benefits
Members of the AmeriCorps NCCC Forest Corps will receive a compensation package equivalent to $15 an hour. This package includes lodging, transportation, clothing, a living allowance, and health benefits. No prior education or experience will be required for participation.
AmeriCorps’ History in Climate Action
AmeriCorps has a long history of addressing climate change. In the fiscal year 2022, the agency invested more than $117 million in climate resilience, environmental conservation, and disaster response. This represents a 20% increase over the previous year. Over 14,500 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers were engaged in environmental conservation last year.