Press Statement

ReImagine Appalachia Hails President Biden’s American Climate Corps

By September 20, 2023No Comments

Contact: Jodi Hirsh, 412-326-9832, 

September 20, 2023


The American Climate Corps will create jobs, skills, and opportunities throughout Appalachia while simultaneously tackling the climate crisis

APPALACHIA—Communities across Appalachia need solutions as big as the challenges we face. Today’s announcement from the Biden Administration is exactly what is needed to put Appalachians to work reimagining Appalachian communities and increasing resilience to climate impacts.

“Pay attention. This is what truly sustainable, equitable economic development looks like – creating jobs that are good for the environment while simultaneously paving career pathways out of poverty for disadvantaged workers,” said Amanda Woodrum, Co-Director, ReImagine Appalachia.

Importantly, the American Climate Corps will prioritize communities that are traditionally left behind, including energy communities that powered our nation for generations. The revived Corps is welcome news and builds on the work ReImagine Appalachia has been doing since its inception. 

ReImagine Appalachia’s whitepaper noted the ways that a modern Conservation Corps could break barriers for people who have had difficulty securing good-paying jobs. 

Said Dana Kuhnline, Program Director of ReImagine Appalachia, “This is great and welcome news, and we’re excited to see expansion and growth of the revived program. This is exactly what we talk about when we say we’re Reimagining Appalachia – creating a new, inclusive, thriving region where workforce development helps more young folks access the training they need for good-paying jobs in the clean energy and climate resilience.”

In the early 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) was created as part of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.  The work relief program was created to improve America’s public lands while simultaneously employing thousands of (disproportionately white) men. This program helped build both familial wealth and public infrastructure that have lasted well through this century.

In recent years, ReImagine Appalachia has researched and discussed re-introducing a modern CCC that could address environmental justice issues within our communities as well as create jobs for underserved populations. 

Read the White House Fact Sheet about the American Climate Corps here.


Reimagine Appalachia is a coalition of labor, policy experts and community leaders who are making sure that everyone who lives here can have a good job and can put down roots for the future. For months, the coalition has been pushing Congress to pass major funding packages that create jobs, rebuild infrastructure, and address fires and floods caused by damage to the climate.