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As Congress and presidential candidates trade accusations over immigration reform, advocates and experts urge caution in spreading misinformation; Alabama takes new action IVF policy following controversial court decision; and central states urge caution with wildfires brewing.

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Congress reaches a deal to avoid a partial government shutdown again. Arizona Republicans want to ensure Trump remains on their state ballot and Senate Democrats reintroduce the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Biden’s Climate Corps could bring jobs to Appalachian Ohio

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Monday, February 12, 2024   

A Biden administration program called the American Climate Corps aims to hire and train 20,000 people in conservation, climate and clean-energy jobs.

Still in the early stages of development, groups in Appalachia say the program could potentially steer a significant number of young people in the region into well-paying jobs.

Director of the non-profit Green Forests Work, Michael French, said with the decline of surface mining and logging, more Appalachian communities are turning to ecological restoration and forest-based economies.

He said those industries need workers, and believes the climate corps could help.

"We really need to develop that workforce in not only native seed collection but seedling production, tree planting," said French. "The whole supply chain around reforestation in Appalachia could benefit from this program."

The climate corps is modeled after the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Depression-era program launched by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to alleviate high unemployment among young men.

The White House says the Climate Corps aims to attract individuals from diverse backgrounds and disadvantaged communities to work in climate-related sectors.

Annie Regan, director of digital communications with ReImagine Appalachia, said not only could the initiative bring jobs to a region hard-hit by the opioid crisis and unemployment - but participants will also receive paid training, opening the doors to opportunities for employment in both the public and private sectors.

"Of course we want younger folks to have these jobs," said Regan, "and to have pathways to apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs, and working with our unions."

A Yale Program on Climate Change Communication poll found more than six in 10 Ohio voters support government action to address climate change, and support developing more renewable-energy sources such as wind and solar.

Critics charge these kinds of jobs are a poor substitute for the economic impact fossil fuels have traditionally had in the region.



Disclosure: Reimagine Appalachia contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Sustainable Agriculture. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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