A new federal program plans to bolster the ‘green’ workforce like CCC of old

By Chloe Bennett

About 90 years ago, a group in the Adirondacks built trails, campsites and dams for six months while sleeping in tents. The Civilian Conservation Corps, only open to young men, was an effort to employ people during the Great Depression while attempting to improve the county’s natural environment. Nationwide, the corps planted 3 billion trees and built structures some of which remain today.

Now, as climate change mitigation is at the global forefront, the U.S. is designing a similar program that could make its way to the Adirondacks, and it will be open to any “young” person in the country, no degree required.

The Biden administration in September announced the start of the American Climate Corps to train and employ people in climate-focused jobs. Inspired by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s nine-year program from the 1930s, Biden’s climate corps was in development for years with encouragement from lawmakers such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts.

The initiative aims to hire 20,000 young people in its first year and plans to be anchored in equity and environmental justice, a White House press release states. The partnership is between AmeriCorps, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Departments of Labor, Interior, Agriculture, and Energy. Age and pay details have not been released, although a White House spokesperson told the New York Times that some programs will not have age limits.

Read the full article in the Adirondack Explorer.