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Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Agreement between Seven Federal Agencies to Implement the American Climate Corps

WASHINGTON, DC | The Biden-Harris Administration is taking critical steps to advance the American Climate Corps, a landmark initiative announced by President Biden earlier this year to train the next generation of clean energy, conservation, and climate resilience workers, while putting them on a path to good-paying union jobs. As part of this commitment, today seven federal agencies – the Departments of Commerce, the Interior, Agriculture, Labor and Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency, and AmeriCorps – are formally entering into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will serve as a blueprint for the multiagency program. The MOU lays out the mission, goals, priorities, and next steps for implementing President Biden’s American Climate Corps.


In addition, beginning in January, senior Administration officials will also convene a series of virtual listening sessions to hear directly from prospective American Climate Corps applicants and implementing partners, including labor unions, educational institutions, employer partners, and state, local, and Tribal governments about their priorities for the American Climate Corps. The convenings announced today will inform the implementation of this historic new initiative. More information about the virtual listening sessions can be found on the American Climate Corps page.


Earlier this month, the USDA Forest Service and AmeriCorps signed a five-year, $15 million interagency agreement to establish the Forest Corps. Forest Corps aims to connect people from diverse backgrounds with opportunities to reduce wildfire risk, support reforestation and make national forests and grasslands healthier and more resilient to threats like climate change. The first cohort of 80 members is set to start work next summer.


“Preparing our national forests and grasslands from the historic threats they face means training the next generation of forest managers and leaders to take up the mission of caring for these treasured landscapes,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Thanks to the long-term vision of the Biden-Harris Administration, Forest Corps is set to take on today’s conservation challenges while investing in the workforce we need for the future.”


Under the MOU, agencies are agreeing to the following principles:


  • The American Climate Corps will reflect a comprehensive approach to tackling climate change;

  • The American Climate Corps will build upon and expand existing partnerships, while also initiating new partnerships in communities across the country;

  • American Climate Corps programs will compensate members to ensure the initiative is accessible to all;

  • American Climate Corps programs will provide a pathway to high-quality employment;

  • The American Climate Corps will expand workforce pathways in and led by disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution; and

  • The American Climate Corps will serve all of America’s communities by improving climate resilience, reducing climate pollution, and by creating economic opportunity in our urban, rural, suburban, and wilderness remote areas.


The MOU also establishes an Executive Committee – comprised of the Assistant to the President and National Climate Advisor, CEO of AmeriCorps, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Energy, and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency – that will provide leadership across the federal government for the American Climate Corps, as well as a Working Group to formally carry out and implement the initiative.


Within the first three weeks of launching the American Climate Corps, more than 40,000 people, about two-thirds of whom are ages 18-35, expressed interest in joining the initiative. The American Climate Corps is on track to establish the first cohort of members in the summer of 2024.


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