Today, October 28, the administration of President Joe Biden released a framework for the Build Back Better Act. This framework describes legislative proposals aimed at helping the United States “meet its climate goals, create millions of good-paying jobs, enable more Americans to join and remain in the labor force, and grow our economy from the bottom up and the middle out.” Among other measures to meet these priorities, the framework calls for creation of a Civilian Climate Corps. Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President & CEO of The Corps Network, provided the following statement in response:
On behalf of The Corps Network, the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps, I extend deep appreciation to President Joe Biden and his administration for including a Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) in the Build Back Better framework. For decades, Corps programs have engaged thousands of diverse young Americans in projects that restore habitats, expand access to the outdoors, make homes more resource-efficient, and strengthen the climate resilience of our country. We know from experience that Corps offer an effective model for not only addressing critical work, but inspiring a new generation of civic-minded stewards of our environment and communities. Through a Civilian Climate Corps initiative, our country has an opportunity to make a significant impact on our climate future by helping train the sustainability-focused workforce we need.
Climate change is a growing threat that we can no longer ignore. The effects of climate change – including more extreme weather and wildfires – are impacting lives and livelihoods. People of color and communities that have faced poverty and disinvestment are bearing a disproportionate brunt of these effects. We commend the administration for emphasizing the importance of investing in a CCC that looks like America, focuses on environmental justice, and leads to good-paying jobs.
The Corps Network is grateful to the many champions that understand the value of the Corps model and have promoted this vision of a modern CCC. We are excited about what a CCC will mean for America’s young people and look forward to working with the White House and Congress on implementation of an equitable Civilian Climate Corps.