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

President Biden arrives to commemorate Earth Day at Prince William Forest Park in Triangle, Va., on April 22.
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds
AFP via Getty Images
President Joe Biden walks outside the White House on April 5.

President Joe Biden is marking 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.

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

"For young people of all backgrounds, no matter their qualification, no matter their ZIP code, there will now be pathways and positions that they can fill that help them gain the skills to succeed in the clean energy economy," Ali Zaidi, Biden's climate adviser, told reporters.

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 will make 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 affected by climate change.

The new website will initially list about 2,000 jobs, located in 36 states as well as Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. The White House plans to update the site regularly with new positions.

According to the White House, young Americans who take part in the program can also get linked up with training to help land apprenticeship positions through a partnership with the North America's Building Trades Unions. There's also a plan to help people use their new Climate Corps experience to apply for federal government positions.

On Monday, Biden also plans to announce $7 billion in grants for solar panel projects for lower-income communities. The funding comes from the Inflation Reduction Act.

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Elena Moore
Elena Moore is an assistant producer for the NPR Politics Podcast. She also does political reporting for the Washington Desk and fills in as a reporter for the NewsDesk. During the 2020 presidential campaign, she worked as an editorial assistant, doing both research and reporting.
Franco Ordoñez
Franco Ordoñez is a White House Correspondent for NPR's Washington Desk. Before he came to NPR in 2019, Ordoñez covered the White House for McClatchy. He has also written about diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and immigration, and has been a correspondent in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Haiti.
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