Want to get a job as one of Biden’s 20,000 climate workers? Here’s what you need to know!

April 3, 2024

The jobs board for the American Climate Corps is set to officially launch this month—and it’s likely to be flooded with eager applicants, reports Fast Company.

.Since President Joe Biden announced the New Deal-inspired program last September, more than 50,000 people have expressed interest in joining. But space is limited: The program will launch with just a few hundred positions.

Given that most jobs won’t require relevant experience, how will the program select its first cohort?

“I think the idea is to make it as broad as possible, so all young people can find something, whether they’re at a 7th-grade reading level and they’re coming out of the foster care or juvenile justice system, or whether they’re a PhD candidate at a university,” says Mary Ellen Sprenkel, president and CEO of The Corps Network. Her association represents 150 corps, including AmeriCorps, that will host many of the ACC projects.

The first list of job openings will likely include things like installing solar panels, restoring vulnerable habitats, and fire hazard prevention. While some positions will require math and science skills, or higher degrees in things like environmental science or natural resource management, others will be looking for “basic 21st century work readiness skills like communications, conflict resolution, teamwork, critical thinking, problem solving, reliability,” Sprenkel says.

There’s an interview process, although Sprenkel says that the interviews aren’t usually extensive. “They just want to make sure the young person is a good fit,” she said. The “young person” definition is flexible, too. There’s no official age cap that she knows of, but the typical age range for corps members is between 16 and 35.

Funding for the Climate Corps projects is subject to Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, an executive order requiring at least 40% of the benefits from certain federal programs to go toward disadvantaged communities. “So there will be an emphasis to support project work in environmental justice communities and underserved communities, and enroll young people from those populations,” Sprenkel said.

Each post will vary in length depending on the project at hand. Some corps run summer programs that last three or four months. Others run year-long programs. But all corps members will be compensated no matter how long the position lasts.

This could come in the form of a stipend, living allowance, or a wage, though the Corps Network is strongly encouraging programs to pay at least $15 per hour. Payment will vary depending on state minimum wage requirements. Some projects might have a benefits package that includes money for transportation or housing.

Climate Corps members will receive training that allows them to enter the workforce with essential green skills needed to address the climate crisis and aid in the energy transition. And the corps will help members make that leap into the workforce by connecting them to potential employers and arming them with industry-recognized credentials.

“They are definitely focused on giving the young person experience that will help them find a career,” Sprenkel says.

Research contact: @FastCompany