Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) hugs Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) as they speak at a news conference in September 2023 on the launch of the American Climate Corps outside the U.S. Capitol. Credit: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images.
By Aynsley O'Neill, Inside Climate News, September 30, 2023
AYNSLEY O’NEILL: In the throes of the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps to put more than 3 million men to work. At state and national parks across the country these mostly young men paved roads, cut trails and constructed lodges, some of which still stand today.
These days you can drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina and Virginia, stay in campgrounds at Acadia National Park in Maine, and hike the Bright Angel Trail in Grand Canyon National Park, all thanks to Civilian Conservation Corps labor.
Now, ninety years later, the Biden administration is mobilizing a national workforce to tackle today’s crisis of climate disruption. The American Climate Corps aims to hire 20,000 young people in its first year for jobs in clean energy, climate resilience and land restoration.