Dec 1, 2023 - Energy & Environment

Exclusive: Young adults show heavy interest in Biden's "Climate Corps"

Illustration of a hand holding up a tree.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Even before formal applications open, over 2,500 young people have signaled interest in joining a major unit of the federal "American Climate Corps" (ACC) program.

Why it matters: The info shared with Axios is an early metric of the Biden administration's ability to transform its recently unveiled ACC into a meaningful initiative.

Driving the news: Applications open today for Forest Corps, a joint program between AmeriCorps and the U.S. Forest Service that officials call the first major new interagency program within the much wider ACC.

What's next: The first cohort of 18- to 26-year-olds is slated to begin work in the summer of 2024.

  • Members will have jobs nationwide in forest and grassland conservation, wildfire risk mitigation and crisis response, reforestation and more.
  • They'll receive a compensation package "equivalent to $15/hour and includes lodging, transportation, clothing, a living allowance, health benefits, and more."

Of note: The tally comes via preliminary signups through AmeriCorps' website, and officials say anyone interested is still encouraged to apply.

  • "AmeriCorps and the U.S. Forest Service are invested in training the next generation of diverse conservation and climate resilience workers," AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith said in a statement.

Catch up fast: The White House announced the New Deal-inspired ACC in September.

  • It aims to bring youth into clean energy and climate resilience jobs — and create paths to future employment.
  • The goal is to move 20,000 people through the program in the first year.

The bottom line: The bureaucratic gears are turning on this nascent effort.

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