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A new study shows health disparities cost Texas billions of dollars; Senate rejects impeachment articles against Mayorkas, ending trial against Cabinet secretary; Iowa cuts historical rural school groups.

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The Senate dismisses the Mayorkas impeachment. Maryland Lawmakers fail to increase voting access. Texas Democrats call for better Black maternal health. And polling confirms strong support for access to reproductive care, including abortion.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

American Climate Corps: Building more climate-resilient WV communities

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Wednesday, February 14, 2024   

A Biden administration program, 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 said the program could potentially steer a significant number of young people in the region into well-paying jobs.

Mark Swiger, coordinator for sustainability initiatives at the West Virginia University Extension Service, explained the Climate Corps specifically looks to invest in rural community development and resilience.

"In West Virginia, we've had a lot of flooding," Swiger pointed out. "Some training in disaster relief and in rebuilding communities to be more resilient, those are the kinds of things that come to mind for me as opportunities that may emerge from this."

According to the group Appalachian Voices, mountaintop removal mining has already destroyed more than 500 mountains encompassing more than 1 million acres in Central and Southern Appalachia.

Annie Regan, director of digital communications for ReImagine Appalachia, said not only could the initiative bring jobs to a region hard-hit by the opioid crisis and unemployment but participants would 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, too, and to have pathways to apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs and working with our unions," Regan emphasized.

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 said the Climate Corps will attract people from diverse backgrounds and disadvantaged communities to work in climate-related industries.

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


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