Sept. 20 (UPI) — President Joe Biden will announce a program that will create a workforce of 20,000 young people in careers to boost clean energy and environmental conservation as part of an ongoing effort to fight climate change.
The announcement comes as 10 states have set up auxiliary job programs that will supplement the federal climate mission, including Utah, Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Washington.
The American Climate Corps will provide paid skill training and other competitive benefits to lure a new generation of Americans into clean energy jobs, while expanding the nation’s budding climate economy, the White House said. No prior experience is required for most of the positions.
The program is being funded through Biden’s public infrastructure and clean energy investments, although the administration did not disclose a specific price tag for the initiative.
The effort builds on nearly $500 million in federal investments to expand apprenticeships programs that have created new clean energy jobs and training initiatives since 2021.
The jobs are specifically focused on conserving and restoring more than 21 million acres of public lands and waterways across the country, while improving disaster resilience in vulnerable communities, and deploying clean energy technologies as Biden sought to deliver on an ambitious climate agenda more than midway through his term.
The program includes a major focus on equity and environmental justice — with procedures in place to ensure disadvantaged communities are not left behind in the nation’s climate progress.
Biden has called on private sector companies, local-level governments, charities, nonprofits, labor unions, and other groups to create training partnerships to shore up the federal program.
The White House is planning to launch a recruitment website where prospective employees can sign up to learn more about the new careers.
The program aims to address a wide range of environmental issues through multiple climate objectives, including deploying clean energy and energy efficient solutions, restoring coastal wetlands, protecting communities from storm surges and flooding, managing deforestation and improving wildfire prevention.