How to apply for a job in the American Climate Corps

US President Joe Biden speaks on Earth Day at Prince William Forest Park on April 22, 2024 in Triangle, Virginia. Biden, along with Sens. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), Edward Markey (D-MA), and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), announced a seven billion dollar "Solar For All" program with the Environmental Protection Agency and an American Climate Corps initiative, while commemorating the 54th anniversary of Earth Day, started in 1970 to raise awareness and support for environmental protection. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

By Isabel Soisson

April 30, 2024

The Biden administration announced its plans to expand its New Deal-style American Climate Corps (ACC) green jobs training program last week.

Nearly 2,000 corps positions opened up across 36 states, including jobs in partnership with the North American Building Trades Unions.

In September, the administration announced an executive action to create the American Climate Corps program. According to the White House, the program is a federal effort “to ensure more young people have access to the skills-based training necessary for good-paying careers in the clean energy and climate resilience economy.”

Those who enroll in the program will learn how to install solar panels, restore coastal wetlands, retrofit homes to be more energy-efficient, fight wildfires, and more. The program also intends to create a pipeline for these young people to get hired into the clean energy sector, which is expected to add millions jobs by 2030, due in large part to the Inflation Reduction Act.

Interested in joining? Here’s a how-to.

How to apply

As of April 22, Americans can now apply to join the American Climate Corps through the venture’s new website: ClimateCorps.gov.

At the top of the homepage, there’s a button that’s labeled “Join.” You’ll be guided to a page with the available job listings. After the site’s launch, applications came in swiftly and there are currently only 270 open positions across the country.

Compensation for these positions vary, but many of them start at $15 per hour and provide education benefits, as well as mental and behavioral health benefits. Some of them even provide child care.

In Michigan, there are several positions still available. Five of the open positions are with the YouthWork Conservation Corp. Members will be responsible for planting trees, building trails, restoring historic structures, improving parks, and more.

No experience or formal education is required for these positions. The deadline to apply is this Wednesday, May 1.

Looking forward

Michael D. Smith, the CEO of AmeriCorps, told The American Prospect that the American Climate Corps is “an opportunity to turn anxiety into action.”

“We’ve heard a lot from young Americans about climate anxiety,” Smith said. “It’s been heartbreaking to hear young people say, ‘This is overwhelming. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know if I want to bring children into this world.’”

Smith said that the ACC gives young people “a way to not wait for somebody else to do something.” He said the program lets them “jump in the arena right now to make a difference on an issue that is bigger than all of us.”

Smith added that the ACC intends to go beyond “one-and-done” projects, as well. The goal of these “term” positions, which all range from 300 hours to a full year, is to develop “real marketable skills that [lead] into a career path right away.”

Ultimately, the ACC aims to train 20,000 young people for jobs focused on fighting climate change.

The first set of jobs will start in June.

Author

  • Isabel Soisson

    Isabel Soisson is a multimedia journalist who has worked at WPMT FOX43 TV in Harrisburg, along with serving various roles at CNBC, NBC News, Philadelphia Magazine, and Philadelphia Style Magazine.

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