President Biden Launches the American Climate Corps, Announces new AmeriCorps NCCC Forest Corps
AmeriCorps, along with other federal agencies, will lead the American Climate Corps
WASHINGTON, DC — On the week of AmeriCorps 30th anniversary, President Biden announced the creation of the American Climate Corps. AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service, will serve as the hub for the American Climate Corps.
The American Climate Corps is an interagency partnership between AmeriCorps, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Departments of Labor, Interior, Agriculture, and Energy.
"President Biden's American Climate Corps is a bold and necessary response to the concerns of young people across America. From record heat and extreme flooding to devastating wildfires, climate change is an existential threat to life as we know it. AmeriCorps members have been combatting these threats since our founding and we’re prepared to accelerate and strengthen our response," said Michael D. Smith, CEO, AmeriCorps. "We recognize that these times also present an opportunity to address climate change and build a workforce pipeline that will deliver good-paying union jobs and strengthen the clean energy economy. AmeriCorps and our partner agencies are ready to lead the American Climate Corps. We're always looking to meet the needs of the future, and with President Biden's American Climate Corps, we're doing just that. The American Climate Corps marks a new era of youth-powered climate action."
The American Climate Corps will improve the lives of individuals and communities throughout the nation, while helping the United States face intersecting challenges – including the catastrophic and disproportionate impacts of climate change and unequal access to training, higher education, and high-quality jobs. Through partnerships with national service grantees, labor organizations, apprenticeship readiness programs and registered apprenticeships, educational institutions, and other organizations, the American Climate Corps will build a base of talented, skilled, certified, and apprentice-able workers for jobs in public service or the private sector.
One of the first major partnerships under President Biden’s American Climate Corps is between AmeriCorps and the US Forest Service to establish the new AmeriCorps NCCC Forest Corps. This is a five-year, $15 million interagency agreement, with the first cohort of 80 members to begin service in the summer of 2024. The AmeriCorps NCCC Forest Corps will deploy across America to conserve national forests and grasslands, mitigate risks of wildfires in high-risk regions, and support reforestation efforts and wildfire crisis response.
“Through this partnership, the Forest Service and AmeriCorps are investing in building the next generation of diverse conservation leaders and supporting our shared goals of service and environmental stewardship,” said Chris French, Forest Service Deputy Chief. “These young people will help support our highest priority as an agency – confronting the wildfire crisis. We look forward to connecting with this group and providing experiences in service and conservation that will prepare them for future career success.”
Consistent with President Biden’s aspiration for AmeriCorps members, AmeriCorps NCCC Forest Corps members will receive a compensation package equivalent to $15 an hour and includes lodging, transportation, clothing, a living allowance, health benefits, and more. No prior education or experience will be required.
"In less than a year, the first AmeriCorps NCCC Forest Corps cohort will deploy, shepherding in a new era of youth-powered conservation of our nation's public lands," said Ken Goodson, Director, AmeriCorps NCCC. "This program will not only help reforestation, support wildfire response, and conserve America's beautiful parks, but it will deliver jobs for young Americans and strengthen the sustainable economy. We're grateful to the United States Forest Service for their partnership."
AmeriCorps members have been tackling climate change for years. In FY 2022, AmeriCorps invested more than $117 million in climate resilience, environmental conservation, and disaster response – a 20 percent increase over the previous year. More than 14,500 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers were engaged in environmental conservation last year, preserving and protecting more than 3 million acres of state and national parks, training hundreds of thousands of Americans in conservation and energy efficiency, and restoring thousands of miles of waterways, to name a few examples.
The American Climate Corps builds on AmeriCorps’ reach and impact in communities most affected by the climate crisis. By expanding partnerships with federal, tribal, state, and local governments; labor unions; nonprofit organizations; the private sector; and philanthropy, as well as communities traditionally left behind or excluded; the American Climate Corps will look like America and meet the urgent needs of the American people.
To join the American Climate Corps, visit: www.whitehouse.gov/climatecorps and to learn more about the AmeriCorps NCCC Forest Corps, visit: https://americorps.gov/serve/americorps/americorps-nccc#programs.