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White House announces American Climate Corps job training program

The American Climate Corps aims to train American workers to improve U.S. resilience and prepare them for climate-related careers.
Posted at 6:49 PM, Sep 20, 2023

The White House has announced a climate jobs training program that it hopes will put thousands of people to work building resilience, deploying renewable energy and restoring land and habitats in the face of climate change.

The program draws inspiration from, and inevitable comparison to, the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps, which in its first year in 1933 employed tens of thousands of young men rebuilding trails, replanting trees and responding to natural disasters. By the end of its run, more than 2.5 million had served, earning $30 a month.

The American Climate Corps is more modest, hoping to employ 20,000 Americans in its first year.

But training and service programs will be paid, most positions will not require previous work experience, and officials hope to put people on easier paths to federal service and other careers when their work in the corps is done.

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"We're opening up pathways to good-paying careers, lifetimes of being involved in the work of making our communities more fair, more sustainable, more resilient," said White House climate policy adviser Ali Zaidi.

Importantly, the new program will also employ workers from disadvantaged communities and those at particular risk from the effects of climate change.

Those interested in the program can train for roles including deploying clean energy, improving energy efficiency for households, rebuilding coastal wetlands to protect from storm damage, forest management to reduce wildfire risk, maintaining public lands and waterways, making agriculture more resilient to drought conditions, and advancing environmental justice causes to ensure equitable access to healthy communities.