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Leaders in the National Service Field Applaud White House Inclusion of a Civilian Climate Corps in Build Back Better Act Framework
Service Year Alliance, States for Service, The Corps Network, and Voices for National Service join forces in celebrating the inclusion of a 300,000 member CCC in the reconciliation package & encourage final passage of the bill
WASHINGTON, DC (October 29, 2021) – Leaders across the national service field released statements today applauding the White House’s inclusion of a 300,000 member Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) in their framework for the Build Back Better Act. The announcement of the White House’s framework was followed by the release of legislative text from Congress that matches the White House’s vision for a bold CCC that meets the scale of the climate crisis.
As outlined by Congress, the CCC includes a flagship AmeriCorps program and helps our nation fight the climate crisis through wildfire remediation, disaster response and preparedness, environmental conservation, and a transition to green energy infrastructure. It would also raise the living allowance, increase the education award, and expand benefits for all AmeriCorps programs, making national service a more equitable opportunity for all young people.
“Throughout this Administration, Service Year Alliance has repeatedly called on President Biden to become the “Service President” by prioritizing a substantial investment in national service and making it the cornerstone issue of his legacy. The creation of a bold Civilian Climate Corps, as outlined in today’s framework, represents a once-in-a-generation investment in national service that is in direct response to our calls to the President,” said Kristen Bennett, Chief Strategy Officer at Service Year Alliance. “The CCC will transform national service and reimagine what it means to serve our country. By raising the living allowance and expanding benefits for all AmeriCorps programs, America can better engage a more diverse group of young Americans in national service, create an equitable and inclusive CCC, prioritize environmental justice in communities hardest hit by climate change, and ensure that national service is at the forefront of tackling the climate crisis.”
“National service has a long history in conservation, climate, and disaster resiliency work, and an established network of 52 governor-appointed state service commissions and hundreds of local AmeriCorps programs that have the experience to develop a successful modern-era Civilian Climate Corps (CCC),” said Kaira Esgate, CEO of America’s Service Commissions and its States for Service initiative. “The CCC is an historic opportunity to invest in a flagship AmeriCorps program to launch the next generation of climate stewards on a path to good-paying jobs while addressing critical issues in disproportionately impacted communities. We thank President Biden and House and Senate leadership for recognizing the importance of national service and making it easier to serve in programs like AmeriCorps to address one of the biggest environmental, health, and economic challenges of our time.”
“On behalf of The Corps Network, I extend appreciation to President Joe Biden and his administration for including a Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) in the Build Back Better framework. For decades, Corps programs have engaged thousands of diverse young Americans in national service projects that strengthen the resilience of our communities. Through a CCC initiative, our country has an opportunity to make a significant impact on our climate future by completing critical projects and training the sustainability-focused workforce we need,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President & CEO of The Corps Network. “We commend the administration for emphasizing the importance of investing in a CCC that looks like America, focuses on environmental justice, and leads to good-paying jobs. The Corps Network is grateful to the many champions that have promoted this vision of a modern CCC. We encourage the House and Senate to pass this historic legislation. We look forward to working with the White House and Congress on implementation of an equitable Civilian Climate Corps.”
“The Build Back Better Act framework includes a historic, transformational investment in AmeriCorps,” said AnnMaura Connolly, President of Voices for National Service, which has led the effort to ensure Americans of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to serve and volunteer in their community since 2003. “From the creation of the Civilian Climate Corps to mobilize a new generation of Americans to support disaster relief, conservation and other environmental needs, to an increase in benefits so that Americans from every background can serve their communities, the proposal provides the essential investment needed to ensure that AmeriCorps can continue to be on the front lines in unprecedented numbers, tackling our greatest challenges. We are grateful to the bipartisan members of Congress who have led the call for the expansion of AmeriCorps as the nation continues to rebuild from the pandemic and to the Biden Administration for prioritizing national service in the Build Back Better Act framework. We urge Congress to get the reconciliation package over the finish line. Americans are ready to serve.”
About Service Year Alliance
Service Year Alliance is working to make a year of paid, full-time service — a service year — a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. To achieve our mission, Service Year Alliance develops and documents evidence in priority focus areas to persuade decision makers to increase public and private investments in the service year ecosystem. We build coalitions and foster strategic corporate, community, and research partnerships and develop service year programs and resources in priority focus areas to strengthen the case for service years. We advance policy proposals that unlock public funds for service years to create the opportunity for all young Americans to serve. We elevate service years as an experience that transforms lives, strengthens communities, and fuels civic renewal. Finally, we manage ServiceYear.org, a technology platform that matches those who want to serve with paid service year opportunities. Learn more at ServiceYearAlliance.org.
About States for Service
States for Service is the privately funded, grassroots policy arm of America’s Service Commissions, the nonprofit association of the 52 state service commissions. The States for Service coalition works to reinforce the critical role state service commissions play in developing and advancing service in states to meet community and state needs. States for Service aims to influence policy, grant, and regulatory issues related to state service commissions, AmeriCorps State programs, and other state service programs such as AmeriCorps Seniors, AmeriCorps VISTA, and the Volunteer Generation Fund.
About The Corps Network
The Corps Network, the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps, provides leadership and support to 140 Corps across the United States. Through advocacy, and providing Corps access to funding opportunities and expert guidance, The Corps Network annually enables more than 20,000 Corps members to strengthen communities, improve the environment and transform their lives through service. Learn more about The Corps Network at www.corpsnetwork.org.
About Voices for National Service
Voices for National Service is a diverse coalition of national service programs, state service commissions and individual champions, who work to ensure Americans of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to serve and volunteer in their community. Founded in 2003, Voices for National Service has built strong bipartisan support among our nation’s leaders and leads the effort to elevate national service as a powerful strategy for tackling unmet needs, preparing young people for work, uniting our country and developing civic character.