National service has a long track record of being a human capital solution to address environmental challenges that goes all the way back to the Civilian Conservation Corps. Right now, approximately 25,000 young people serve in a variety of conservation corps annually, and smaller numbers in a variety of other climate interventions.
At the same time, we are on the verge of a once-in-a-generation opportunity for national service with the creation of a 300,000 member Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) included in the potential Build Back Better Act.
To build off this momentum and ensure national service is a key factor in the emerging climate industry, Service Year Alliance will lead a new project, supported by the Cisco Foundation, to identify the points of greatest leverage to help climate organizations better utilize national service as a human capital solution to our biggest challenges. We will conduct a landscape analysis, convene the most promising programs and approaches to utilizing national service to address and mitigate the impacts of climate change, and bring those findings and effective approaches to stakeholders in the climate sector to help them implement tangible solutions.
Throughout this work, we will bring a special focus to how national service can uniquely bring young people to the table — prompting young people to become lifelong climate advocates and environmental stewards, act as a workforce pathway into climate-related and green jobs, and otherwise build stronger citizen and community engagement in a shared vision for our climate future.
We will convene, support, and then disseminate learnings from a small group of innovative programs — a learning cohort. From installing renewable energy systems to restoring watersheds to supporting disaster resilience efforts and more, the national service field is well positioned to provide solutions to climate change and train the next generation of climate leaders. Service Year Alliance will convene a small group of programs to understand the models, challenges, and opportunities in utilizing national service in support of the climate and workforce development fields.
Recruitment & Awareness of Climate Service Years
We will focus on recruitment and awareness building among young people for climate service years. We believe one of national service’s greatest value-adds will be engaging young people in environmental sustainability work and combating climate change. In addition to leveraging ServiceYear.org as appropriate, we will help build the partnerships — with climate change organizations, youth-serving organizations, and other key stakeholders — necessary to recruit young people. We’ll also leverage our years of messaging expertise and our test-and-refine approach to hone in on the most effective messages to recruit young people into climate-related service years. In executing this campaign we would refine upon our knowledge base, develop, and deploy the most effective approaches to recruit young people into climate-related service year positions.
Climate & Workforce Development Partnerships
We are building partnerships with climate and workforce development partners as they explore ways to better utilize national service as a human capital solution for climate change. We’re proud to be partnering with The Corps Network, who will serve as a critical adviser during this project.
If you’re interested in exploring ways to get involved in this work, please contact Brent Kossick at [email protected].