States Boost Earth Day Impact with Climate Corps Expansion

April 22, 2024  

California: Katie Vavao,  
New Mexico: Michael Coleman,
Vermont: Jason Maulucci,  

States Boost Earth Day Impact with Climate Corps Expansion

Illinois, New Mexico and Vermont join 10 Climate Corps states by teaming up with California to provide more opportunities for climate action and careers in sustainability.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Today on Earth Day, the states of Illinois, New Mexico and Vermont each announced the creation of its own state-level Climate Corps in partnership with California Volunteers, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom. They join 10 states already providing volunteer and paid service opportunities to take climate action. With this announcement, state-level climate corps programs are now available in states representing a third of America’s population — a huge milestone for climate action.   

These new states represent a powerful network of leaders committed to engaging more Americans in climate action. The state-level Climate Corps will engage people through a variety of activities and create job pathways for careers in sustainability. Current states that have launched state-level Climate Corps include Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Utah and Washington. Many of these programs have already experienced early success.

resident Joe Biden, pictured with California Climate Action Corps Fellow Chiena Ty, visited Baylands Nature Preserve in Palo Alto, California, on June 19, 2023.

Today’s announcement comes as the Biden Administration announces thousands of new paid service positions now available through the American Climate Corps. Positions range across a number of fields including energy-efficiency, disaster response and preparedness, and wildfire mitigation. Up to 20,000 people are expected to join in the program’s first year. To learn more and apply, visit 

From left, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, alongside California Climate Action Corps Fellows, Senator Bernie Sanders and Senator Edward Markey join President Biden for his Earth Day address and the unveiling of the American Climate Corps in Triangle, Virginia.

While at an event last year in California, President Joe Biden expressed his optimism about Climate Corps. “When I think of climate, I think of jobs. When I think of climate, I think of innovation. When I think of climate, I think of turning peril into progress,” said President Biden.  

Fellows in state-based climate corps programs will earn a living stipend and, after completing a term of service, will be eligible for a scholarship to pay for college or to pay off student loans. Some participating fellows will earn up to $30,000 (prorated for those serving in a less than full-time capacity) by serving their communities. Each state will tailor the program to its specific needs and will determine additional climate activity priorities.   

The state-level Climate Corps are supported through a public-private partnership between philanthropy and AmeriCorps. These states will work with the American Climate Corps as implementing partners to ensure participants gain new skills and earn money while serving their community.  

United States Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, right, with Fellows from the California Climate Action Corps, discuss Earth Day and the impacts of President Biden’s remarks on the American Climate Corps in Triangle, Virginia.


“We can’t go it alone in tackling the climate crisis. With these three states launching their own Climate Corps, we’re making climate action a reality in communities representing millions of Americans. Together, we’re mobilizing and organizing citizen climate action at a scale never seen before — and now we’ll begin to see its impact across the nation,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom.    

“Climate change is a crisis that requires coordinated action,” said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. “California’s Climate Corps network inspires a new generation of leaders to pursue volunteer and paid opportunities in sustainability. We deeply appreciate this partnership with Governor Newsom, as our efforts are most powerful when we build coalitions.” 

“New Mexico is committed to doing its part to mitigate the climate crisis, and we’re proud to join in this growing, collective effort that will help protect our planet and produce new economic opportunities,” said New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. “I have no doubt that New Mexicans will enthusiastically participate in Climate Corps and help make this important new White House initiative a success.” 

“Climate change is already having significant impacts on Vermont and states across the nation. It’s critical we continue to do our parts to combat it,” said Vermont Governor Phil Scott. “We are all better off when we do this work together and it’s good to join with other states who are stepping up.” 

“Vermont’s American Climate Corps will mobilize young people who care deeply about the future of our planet and who are ready to take on the existential threat of climate change,” said Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. “Addressing climate change isn’t just a moral imperative – it’s good economic policy that will create millions of good jobs and transform our communities toward sustainability and energy efficiency. It is good news that Vermont will be at the forefront of this important work.”

Check with each state for fellowship application details. 

INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE IN SPANISH AND ENGLISH: California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday. Contact Katie Vavao,, (916) 584-3620 

Livestream Announcement:



Climate Corps States Taking Climate Action 


Climate Corps 


About California Volunteers, Office of the Governor   
Led by California Chief Service Officer Josh Fryday, California Volunteers, Office of the Governorempowers Californians to take action to improve their communities. California Volunteers is the state office tasked with recruiting Californians to engage in public service.