The Corps Network promotes the idea that Corps can provide solutions to multiple challenges in our country.
As the voice for Service and Conservation Corps in Washington, DC, The Corps Network works with Congress, the Administration, and other decision-makers to promote investments and policies that support expansion, equity, and enrichment within the Corps movement.
We believe Corps are a win-win-win
- Engaging the next generation:
Corps help develop future community leaders by providing young adults and veterans the chance to gain hands-on work experience, develop in-demand job skills, and earn industry-recognized certifications. Through engaging young people in meaningful service in communities and on public lands and waters, Corps inspire the next generation of stewards, outdoor enthusiasts, civic leaders, and entrepreneurs by teaching them essential skills in teamwork, communication, and problem-solving while they help maintain our lands and waters.
- Getting things done:
Corps leverage the talents of young people and veterans to meet the changing needs of communities and our environment. Corps conserve resources, improve infrastructure, increase access to the great outdoors, respond to disasters and wildfires, and address a range of other priority issues.
- Stimulating local economies:
Corps are a cost-effective partner, helping resource management agencies and other units of local, state and federal government leverage limited funds to accomplish priority projects. Many Corps engage in projects that directly improve our resource efficiency and enhance our climate resilience. The Corps model connects young people and veterans to education and the workforce, thus improving local economies.
Our Issue Areas
- Civilian Climate Corps
The Corps Network supports investing in a Civilian Climate Corps to mobilize the next generation of conservation and resilience workers and maximize the creation of accessible training opportunities and good jobs. Today’s Corps are based in rural and urban communities and responsive to local needs. Corps work with federal, state, and local partners to engage Corpsmembers in projects that really make a difference for our communities and the environment. The Corps Network supports the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps comprised of a diverse new workforce that will serve our public lands, bolster community resilience, and address the changing climate.
- Infrastructure Investment
The Corps Network supports investments in infrastructure to address overdue maintenance and improvement projects. For over 80 years, Corps have engaged in public-private and private-sector partnerships to complete projects associated with trails and transportation, public lands access, water management, energy efficiency, habitat management, and disaster response and resiliency. As our national infrastructure evolves, Corps funding will be crucial for maintenance and new projects that reflect a more environmentally friendly future.
- National Service
The Corps Network supports making national service accessible to everyone. Many of the member organizations of The Corps Network receive AmeriCorps grant funding that allows them to enroll Corpsmembers and leverage private and local funding to complete important work in disaster response, conservation, wildfire remediation, and other project areas. Investments in AmeriCorps are more than returned in benefits to Corpsmembers, communities, and public lands. The Corps Network supports Corpsmembers earning a livable wage equivalent to that of at least $15 per hour.
- Environmental Justice
The Corps Network supports the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.This includes prioritizing project investments and recruitment in communities that have faced disinvestment and environmental injustice. Advocating to establish Corps in marginalized communities and enrolling Corpsmember from these communities is integral to achieving environmental justice in the Corps community.
- Non-Defense Discretionary Appropriations
The Corps Network opposes cuts to Non-Defense Discretionary Appropriations (NDD). These funds comprise a small percent of the overall federal budget and are how many Corps programs get their funding. Workforce and education programs that derive their funding from these appropriations are integral to the Corps movement.
- Public Lands
The Corps Network supports strong funding for the operation, maintenance and wildfire budgets of the U.S. Forest Service and the agencies within the Department of the Interior. These funds support public-private partnerships with Corps, through which Corps provide service opportunities to young people and veterans and complete projects that chip away at the maintenance backlog and address other concerns on public lands. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown just how important access to the outdoors is to people all around the country.
- Workforce Development
The Corps Network supports investments in workforce development programs, especially those that benefit Opportunity Youth. This includes such programs such as YouthBuild, U.S. Forest Service Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers, and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Workforce development includes expanding career pathways for Corpsmembers including pre apprenticeship programs that lead to apprenticeships with unions.
To inform our work at the national level, The Corps Network leads two issue-based coalitions with Corps staff, the Public Lands Service Coalition(PLSC) and the State and Local Projects Coalition (SLPC).
- The Public Lands Service Coalition (PLSC)
The primary focus of the PLSC is expanding opportunities to engage Corpsmembers in conservation service and environmental stewardship projects on public lands. Membership in the PLSC previously required additional dues. That is no longer the case! In addition, the PLSC is planning to dedicate more attention to non-federal public lands, such as state and local public lands, waters and outdoor recreation sites. If you have an interest in expanding your Corps’ work on public lands but are not located near a national park, forest, or refuge, this is your opportunity to explore relationships with and strategies for state and local resource management agencies.
- The State and Local Projects Coalition (SLPC)
The SLPC meets monthly and considers important topics like funding for projects in urban communities as well as Corpsmember education, workforce development, and support services. If you have an interest in learning more about project work in urban areas or on state or local public lands; opportunities to partner with AmeriCorps and/or the Departments of Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Labor and Transportation; and strategies for successfully engaging and supporting diverse Corps members (who may have multiple barriers to employment), this is the place for you! Like the PLSC, no additional dues are required for participation.