New York Times/California Today: How California grew a service corps larger than the Peace Corps

By Soumya Karlamangla, June 13, 2024

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In 2023, President Biden announced the American Climate Corps, a program to employ thousands of young people to fight global warming. Many of those jobs, like starting community gardens or installing solar panels, began this summer.

Broadly, the idea of the government putting citizens to work comes from the Civilian Conservation Corps, the New Deal program that gave jobs to young men during the Great Depression.

But Biden’s program also takes direct inspiration from California, which in 2020 began the California Climate Action Corps to pay residents to do a year of projects focusing on fire prevention work, planting trees and reducing food waste. Nearly 1,000 people have been through the program so far.

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