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National Service Leaders Praise House Passage of Historic Build Back Better Act, Including Civilian Climate Corps
Service Year Alliance, the States for Service coalition, The Corps Network, and Voices for National Service thank House leadership for the once-in-a-generation investment in national service and urge passage of the Build Back Better Act, transformative legislation for our climate and working families
WASHINGTON, DC (November 19, 2021) – Today, on the heels of the House passage of the historic Build Back Better Act, leaders of four national service organizations — Service Year Alliance, the States for Service coalition, The Corps Network, and Voices for National Service — released statements praising the bill and its inclusion of a 300,000 member Civilian Climate Corps (CCC). The organizations called for the swift passage of the Build Back Better Act in the Senate.
As proposed by the White House in last week’s framework, the Build Back Better Act includes robust funding for a Civilian Climate Corps that will engage 300,000 Americans in the fight against climate change over the next decade. From conserving our public lands to bolstering community resilience and addressing the changing climate, the CCC includes a flagship AmeriCorps program with increased benefits that reimagines national service in America and will put young Americans on a pathway to good-paying climate jobs.
“Service Year Alliance is incredibly grateful to House leadership, as well as committee chairs and our national service champions in the House, who have spearheaded this bold and transformative Civilian Climate Corps and ushered it across the finish line today,” said Kristen Bennett, Chief Strategy Officer at Service Year Alliance. “When it comes to addressing our changing climate, the CCC will engage hundreds of thousands of young Americans in reducing emissions, building green energy infrastructure, responding to natural disasters, building more resilient communities, and supporting the transition to a clean energy economy. Beyond the benefits to our climate, the CCC will reimagine national service in America, allowing young people from all backgrounds to serve, focusing on communities at the forefront of the climate crisis, and bringing Americans together in common purpose to build stronger citizens and a healthier democracy. We are calling for the timely passage of the Build Back Better Act in the Senate to ensure our vision for the CCC comes to life.”
“We applaud US House of Representatives Leadership, Committee Chairs, and Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) champions for their work in moving forward the Build Back Better (BBB) Act while providing a historic and transformational investment in national service and workforce development together in support of climate resilience and mitigation,” said Kaira Esgate, CEO of America’s Service Commissions and its States for Service initiative. “National service has a long history in conservation and resiliency along with an established network of 52 governor-appointed state service commissions and hundreds of programs with the experience to develop a successful CCC. We look forward to the US Senate taking up the BBB Act as soon as possible and ensuring the next generation of climate stewards are on a path to good-paying jobs while making it easier to serve in programs like AmeriCorps to address the biggest environmental, health, and economic challenges of our time.”
“The Service and Conservation Corps community applauds movement on the Build Back Better Act. We are deeply grateful to the many leaders in the House who have championed the Civilian Climate Corps, national service, and robust climate action,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President & CEO of The Corps Network. “Every year, Corps programs engage thousands of diverse young Americans in national service projects that strengthen the resilience of our communities. Through a Civilian Climate Corps initiative, our country has an opportunity to make a significant impact on our climate future by completing critical projects and training the sustainability-focused workforce we need. A CCC is a win-win-win for our communities, the environment, and America’s young people, who are eager to serve our country and address the climate crisis. We encourage the Senate to pass this historic legislation. The Corps Network looks forward to working with Congress and the White House to implement a CCC that centers equity and environmental justice.”
“The Build Back Better Act includes the largest single investment in AmeriCorps ever,” said AnnMaura Connolly, President of Voices for National Service. “The transformational investment will build on and scale up the existing infrastructure and expand the AmeriCorps mission to address longstanding needs in conservation, disaster response and climate resiliency, while increasing member benefits so that Americans from every background can serve in their communities. It’s a recognition of the tremendous impact AmeriCorps members have made on the front lines tackling our toughest challenges, and of the need for many more Americans in service, particularly as we work to recover from the pandemic. We are grateful to the bipartisan members of Congress, foremost Senator Coons and Representatives Price and Matsui, who have led the call for the expansion of AmeriCorps and to the Biden Administration for recognizing the role AmeriCorps can play in making our country more climate ready and resilient.”
About Service Year Alliance
Service Year Alliance is working to make a year of paid, full-time service — a service year — a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans. To achieve our mission, Service Year Alliance develops and documents evidence in priority focus areas to persuade decision makers to increase public and private investments in the service year ecosystem. We build coalitions and foster strategic corporate, community, and research partnerships and develop service year programs and resources in priority focus areas to strengthen the case for service years. We advance policy proposals that unlock public funds for service years to create the opportunity for all young Americans to serve. We elevate service years as an experience that transforms lives, strengthens communities, and fuels civic renewal. Finally, we manage ServiceYear.org, a technology platform that matches those who want to serve with paid service year opportunities. Learn more at ServiceYearAlliance.org.
About States for Service
States for Service is the privately funded, grassroots policy arm of America’s Service Commissions, the nonprofit association of the 52 state service commissions. The States for Service coalition works to reinforce the critical role state service commissions play in developing and advancing service in states to meet community and state needs. States for Service aims to influence policy, grant, and regulatory issues related to state service commissions, AmeriCorps State programs, and other state service programs such as AmeriCorps Seniors, AmeriCorps VISTA, and the Volunteer Generation Fund.
About The Corps Network
The Corps Network, the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps, provides leadership and support to 140 Corps across the United States. Through advocacy, and providing Corps access to funding opportunities and expert guidance, The Corps Network annually enables more than 20,000 Corpsmembers to strengthen communities, improve the environment and transform their lives through service. Learn more about The Corps Network at www.corpsnetwork.org.
About Voices for National Service
Voices for National Service is a diverse coalition of national service programs, state service commissions and individual champions, who work to ensure Americans of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to serve and volunteer in their community. Founded in 2003, Voices for National Service has built strong bipartisan support among our nation’s leaders and leads the effort to elevate national service as a powerful strategy for tackling unmet needs, preparing young people for work, uniting our country and developing civic character.