OAK Celebrates Creation of American Climate Corps


WASHINGTON, DC –- The White House announced today the creation of the American Climate Corps, a new program offering young people the workforce training and services needed for careers in the clean energy and climate resilience fields. 

This new Corps will:

  • Offer over 20,000 young Americans a pathway to jobs in clean energy, conservation, and climate resilience in the public and private sector through a paid training program that will teach them the skills through practical application, such as restoring coastal wetlands, managing forests and deploying clean energy;
  • Coordinate across six federal agencies – the Department of Labor, the Department of Interior, the Department of Agriculture, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Energy, and AmeriCorps – through a memorandum of understanding;
  • Launch a recruitment hub where anyone interested can learn more about and apply to opportunities as a participant or a partner;
  • Launch in five states – Arizona, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Utah – which will be the implementing partners of the American Climate Corps. 

In response, OAK members released the following statements: 

“The establishment of an American Climate Corps will bring us closer to meeting our national climate and conservation goals, while ensuring the next generation of leaders are at the forefront of solving our climate crisis,” said Jackie Ostfeld, Founder and Co-Chair of the Outdoors Alliance for Kids, and Sierra Club Outdoors for All Campaign Director. “This move by the Biden-Harris Administration will dramatically expand the meaningful work youth conservation corps have been doing for years. Whether they’re planting trees to reduce the urban heat island effect, building living shorelines to mitigate the impact of hurricanes, fighting wildfires or building trails, corps provide young leaders with green jobs and meaningful opportunities to transform the health of our planet, people and economy. As we look to implement the most important environmental laws in history - the Inflation Reduction Act and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law - a reinvigorated, well-coordinated ACC is just what we need to get the job done.”

“On behalf of The Corps Network, I applaud President Biden for delivering on a campaign promise and an Executive Order to establish a national Climate Corps,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of The Corps Network. “Based on the model of the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s, and the nearly 150 Service and Conservation Corps that currently operate in communities across the country, the American Climate Corps (ACC), will provide thousands of diverse young people with opportunities to prepare for good jobs in a clean and sustainable 21st century workforce while at the same time preparing their communities for the impacts of climate change.”

“The Appalachian Mountain Club, the nation’s oldest conservation and recreation organization, supports the Biden Administration’s executive action today," said Heather Clish, Vice President for Conservation & Recreation Advocacy, Appalachian Mountain Club. "The impacts of climate change are being felt in communities across the country today, so the time is now to mobilize an American Climate Corps to conserve and restore public lands and waters, bolster community resilience, increase reforestation, increase carbon sequestration in the agricultural sector, protect biodiversity, improve access to recreation, and address the changing climate. As a 21st century accredited Conservation Corps through The Corps Network, AMC has first-hand experience in responding to the expanding need and workforce opportunity in sustaining natural resources, public lands, and local communities in the midst of our climate crisis.”

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.