FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
New Poll from Service Year Alliance Shows Massive Youth Support for Climate-Related National Service and the Civilian Climate Corps
The poll release kicks off a new, multi-year project funded, in part, by the Cisco Foundation to explore how to best utilize national service as a human capital solution to climate change
WASHINGTON, DC (May 11, 2022) – Service Year Alliance released a new poll today showing that nearly all young people are concerned about climate change, but two-thirds of youth are unsure what they can do to personally make a difference. The poll, which was conducted by Data for Progress, kicked off a new, multi-year project funded in part by the Cisco Foundation that is exploring national service as a human capital solution to climate change. The results highlight the opportunity to engage youth in a year of paid, climate-focused national service and mobilize them to be part of the solution to the climate crisis.
The poll also found that 72% of young people support the Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) as proposed by Congress and the White House, and 38% of young people say they would “strongly” or “maybe” consider joining the CCC.
“National service uniquely brings young people to the table in the fight against climate change — and these poll results show that young people are ready and willing to answer this call to service. It gives the next generation an opportunity to become lifelong environmental stewards, creates a workforce pathway into good-paying green jobs, and builds stronger citizens and community engagement towards a shared vision for our climate future,” said Kristen Bennett, Chief Strategy Officer at Service Year Alliance who also announced the poll results on stage today at Aspen Ideas: Climate in Miami. “National service has a long track record of mobilizing Americans to address environmental challenges — we saw this nearly a century ago with the Civilian Conservation Corps and we are seeing it again today with the proposal for a robust Civilian Climate Corps. With the Cisco Foundation’s help, we are launching this project to identify the points of greatest leverage to help employers and environmental and workforce development organizations better utilize national service as a human capital solution to the most consequential issue of our time.”
Last fall, the Build Back Better Act as passed in the House of Representatives included a 300,000 member Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) that is centered in AmeriCorps. This bold and equitable program aims to engage diverse Americans, build more resilient communities, and put young people on pathways to good-paying jobs in the rapidly growing green economy.
”We are both proud and excited to support this climate initiative,” said Peter Tavernise, Climate Impact and Regeneration Lead at Cisco. “The Cisco Foundation sees national service as a significant opportunity and a fundamental part of co-creating the inclusive and regenerative future we all want.”
As part of this climate project, Service Year Alliance formalized a partnership with The Corps Network — a leader at the forefront of tackling conservation and climate challenges with national service — who is serving as an adviser throughout the effort.
"For more than 36 years, The Corps Network has proudly provided guidance and leadership to America's Service and Conservation Corps community. We know firsthand the incredible impact of Service and Conservation Corps programs. Corps annually help countless communities address pressing environmental concerns and help thousands of young Americans gain the knowledge and certifications to pursue careers in conservation. We look forward to working with our friends at Service Year Alliance; we are excited about the opportunity to lend our experience in conservation service and workforce development to advance this important research," said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President & CEO of The Corps Network. "We are grateful for the support of the Cisco Foundation. Particularly with movement towards implementation of a Civilian Climate Corps, it is more important than ever that the national service community fully understand best practices for equitably delivering meaningful service experiences that can lead to fulfilling careers in conservation."
For questions about the poll, Service Year Alliance’s new climate project, or to explore ways to get involved, please contact Aly Ferguson at [email protected].
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. We envision a future in which national service is part of growing up in America. As we enter a new era for national service fueled by recent investments in AmeriCorps, we are focused on ensuring these expansions are successful and set the stage for future growth of the field. We identify opportunities for shared recruitment and data systems to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our sector. Finally, we foster collaborative approaches to demonstrate the impact of service years as an experience that transforms lives, strengthens communities, and fuels civic renewal at scale. Learn more about our work at ServiceYearAlliance.org.