White House swears in first class of American Climate Corps

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The Biden administration on Tuesday swore in the first class of the American Climate Corps, a federal program that is meant to place young people in the clean energy, conservation and climate resilience sectors.
AmeriCorps, the federal agency overseeing the new program, said it estimated that more than 9,000 members will be in their roles by the end of the month. The inaugural cohort will be sworn in over multiple events over the next few weeks, because of virtual meeting room restrictions, with the next event set for June 25.
“I want these young people to realize that this is our moment in history,” said Maggie Thomas, special assistant for climate to President Joe Biden. “This is our ability to tackle the climate crisis and for this generation to have agency in their future.”
The corps is expected to eventually include 20,000 young people working in a variety of paid positions through federal, state and local partnerships. The roles are limited, paid employment terms ranging from two months to over a year, funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, as well as money laid out in the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget
Most of them focus on bolstering local community initiatives from connecting vulnerable communities to renewable energy grids and helping acquire grant funds to removing potential wildfire hazards from forests.
“I think it shows how much more climate action we can take … in a small community, as a state, and then as a country,” said Chiena Ty, an inaugural member of the American Climate Corps who also works for the California Climate Action Corps.
“I think it’s so important to know that there’s so many different ways that people can participate in taking climate action,” she said.
The White House has touted the program as a way to help fight the impact of climate change in the near term, while training young people with the skills necessary for careers in the clean energy and climate resilience economy.
The program, modeled after Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps, was first floated during the first week of Biden’s presidency and later formally announced in September 2023.
More new jobs will be posted to the program’s website in the coming months.

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