WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), the first AmeriCorps alum to serve in the Senate, welcomed the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps, which was initiated in the executive order signed today by President Joe Biden to tackle the climate crisis at home and abroad.
"In times of crisis, Americans have always embraced service to their nation. We will be a stronger country if we both ask Americans to serve and give them meaningful opportunities to do so," said Heinrich. "There is so much work we need to do to tackle the climate crisis and to rebuild our country. Let's make national service a central part of every plan for change."
The executive order, that mirrors legislation Senator Heinrich introduced last year to significantly expand national service programs, supports the construction, manufacturing, engineering, and skilled-trades jobs needed to build back better—bringing opportunity to low-income rural and urban areas alike—and initiates a Civilian Climate Corps to mobilize the next generation of conservation and resilience workers.
"The last time we faced an economic downturn on the scale we are experiencing today, Americans turned to national service. In the height of the Great Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt understood well that out-of-work Americans were not without worth, but rather that they could leave an indelible mark on our country. Over the years, I’m lucky to have met many men who served in the New Deal’s Civilian Conservation Corps—or CCC Boys, as they called themselves. While most of these men have now passed away, the trails, visitor centers, and other important infrastructure in our public lands that they had so much pride building almost a century ago will continue to serve this nation for a long time to come," continued Heinrich. "We will be a stronger nation if we can provide a new generation of Americans with meaningful opportunities to serve their country and leave their mark."