Biden Launches New Program to Train Green Workers

Sep 21, 2023

President Biden is taking a page from former President Franklin Roosevelt's book. On Wednesday, Biden unveiled a New Deal Era-style program. It will train young people for jobs in the nation’s green economy.

The American Climate Corps (ACC) looks like some programs from the 1930s created by Roosevelt. In the 1930s, the major issue was the Great Depression. Joblessness and poverty were high. But Biden's program aims to fight something else: the threat of a warming planet.

Also, a White House climate advisor made a statement. He said a focus will be placed on making sure people who join the ACC "have a pathway into good-paying union jobs." 

The ACC plans to hire 20,000 young adults. The aim is for hirees to perform climate-related work. The jobs include installing solar panels and planting trees. Building trails and helping prevent wildfires will be jobs too.

A similar program was a part of Biden’s early versions of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act. But it was thrown out after Republicans rallied against it. They argued it would cost too much. The ACC was created by executive order. 

It marks an effort by Biden to mend fences with voters. A portion are upset by some of his decisions related to climate. They include his approval of the Willow oil-drilling project in Alaska.

Varshini Prakash is head of the environmental Sunrise Movement. She hailed the new program. She’s been critical of Biden’s climate policies in the past. 

Prakash called the ACC "a real jobs program that will put a new generation to work stopping the climate crisis."

Photo from Unsplash courtesy of Markus Spiske.

Reflect: What are some ways you think young people can contribute to solving big challenges like climate change in our communities?

Which of the following issues is not highlighted by the author in the article? (Common Core RI.5.3; RI.6.3)
a. Voters’ past criticism of Biden’s climate policies.
b. The ACC is an attempt by Biden to mend fences with voters.
c. Republicans rallied against a former effort made by Biden to create the ACC.
d. While some Democratic lawmakers will praise the ACC’s creation, others will oppose it.
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