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The Corps Network Issues Statement on Inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Harris

WASHINGTON, DC – The Corps Network, the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps, issued the following statement from President and CEO Mary Ellen Sprenkel on the January 20 inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden and Vice President Kamala D. Harris:

On behalf of America’s Service and Conservation Corps community, I extend congratulations to President Biden and Vice President Harris on their inauguration.

We are inspired by the new administration’s call for unity and appreciate the urgency with which they are approaching the challenges facing our country. We believe there are numerous ways in which the Service and Conservation Corps community can support the Biden-Harris administration’s policy focus areas of COVID-19, Economic Recovery, Racial Equity, and Climate Change.

Every year, Corps programs across the United States engage thousands of diverse young people in education, job training, and service projects that improve our communities, public lands, and the natural environment. Through their service to our country, Corps participants develop skills in communication and leadership. They gain experience for the growing fields of ecological restoration, green building, and infrastructure development. Importantly, they also have the opportunity to problem-solve and work alongside people with different life experiences than their own.

Over the past year, we saw Corps come together to share best practices during these challenging times so that Corps could continue operating safely and serving our communities. We saw Corps pivot their project priorities in order to help staff food banks, deliver necessities to the homebound, and set up field hospitals and medical screening sites. Corps have been a critical asset to local governments and nonprofits in this time of need.

The Corps Network supports the Biden-Harris administration’s vision for a Civilian Climate Corps and we have shared our recommendations for our how to build upon the existing Corps community to make this vision a reality. Investments in Corps can address conservation concerns, enhance our country’s resiliency, and provide much-needed jobs for young people, particularly in communities of color that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and by decades of environmental injustice.

We wish the new administration success and look forward to finding opportunities where Corps can support initiatives to help America “Build Back Better.”