On Earth Day, Biden launched a new site to apply for Climate Corps jobs

by Elena Moore and Franco Ordoñez at npr.org

President Biden marked Earth Day on Monday by launching a website for applications for his Climate Corps jobs and training program, a plan that has attracted a lot of interest from young Americans.

Biden has been racing to push forward on initiatives that appeal to a generation that was a big part of his 2020 win — a demographic he has struggled with heading into his reelection bid this fall. The latest NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll found that 61% of voters under 30 disapprove of his performance as president.

Issues like climate change, gun violence prevention and student loan debt are important for young voters, and in recent weeks, Biden has unveiled a host of initiatives in these areas.

Biden launched the climate service program last fall, and within weeks the White House received more than 42,000 expressions of interest from Americans, most of them between the ages of 18 and 35.

“You’ll get paid to fight climate change, learning how to install those solar panels, fight wildfires, rebuild wetlands, weatherize homes, and so much more,” Biden said.

Eventually, the corps will employ more than 20,000 young people, according to the White House.

While young climate advocates have applauded the program, they have expressed disappointment with the Biden administration on a number of environmental issues, including the approval of multiple oil projects, and have urged the president to declare a climate emergency.

What’s next for the Climate Corps

The president made the announcement in northern Virginia at Prince William Forest Park, which was built by the original Civilian Conservation Corps — a massive jobs program started by former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the wake of the Great Depression.

The first set of jobs will start in June. Americans will be placed with organizations focused on clean energy and helping communities effected by climate change.