Yesterday, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced the Restore Environmental Vitality and Improve Volatile Economy (REVIVE) by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Act. The REVIVE the CCC Act plans to revitalize the CCC by placing unemployed or underemployed individuals in jobs that benefit the public. This bill seeks to “tackle the climate crisis while creating well-paying, quality conservation jobs that protect and restore waterways, working lands and the health and resiliency of our rural and urban communities.” This plan includes commitments to prioritize investments for frontline communities and to address environmental injustice.
The REVIVE the CCC Act would:
- Pay workers $15/hour
- Require that project hosts provide health benefits
- Provide education and career training opportunities
- Prioritize jobs and benefits for frontline and underserved communities
- Require public input on projects in environmental justice communities
- Ensure that any project on private land would provide public benefits such as climate resiliency or watershed protection
In response, YECA National Organizer and Spokesperson Tori Goebel released the following statement:
“The United States is facing a host of climate-related extreme weather events while still combating a deadly pandemic that has exacerbated existing injustices. We cannot address climate change without addressing interconnected concerns like racial injustice, economic injustice, and food insecurity. It is time to put people to work with well-paying jobs that benefit God’s creation and prioritize the communities most impacted by the climate crisis.
“The original Civilian Conservation Corps was instrumental in creating jobs and preserving our natural environment, and we have a unique opportunity to revitalize the CCC in a robust, equitable way in order to respond to the challenges of today. A new, improved CCC is a powerful way to create jobs, build community resilience, and prepare a new generation of workers.
“It is imperative that any CCC revitalization plan includes well-paying jobs, career and educational opportunities, and commitments to equity. Young people are facing converging crises and we need new opportunities that help to combat both environmental injustice and the economic uncertainty caused by problems like low wages, growing unemployment, and mounting student loan debt. A new CCC is exactly what we need to start building a better, more just future for all communities in the U.S.
“As young Christians, we want our leaders to rise to this historic moment and take bold action. YECA welcomes Senator Casey’s REVIVE the CCC Act and urges Congress to include a robust, equitable CCC in the reconciliation package.”