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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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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.

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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