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MI Healthy Climate Corps participants to welcome first corps members in March

The launch of the MI Healthy Climate Corps (MHC Corps) is getting closer. Soon, the first cohorts of federal AmeriCorps members will spread out across Michigan in support of climate action. Plans are advancing with the selection of the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM) as an operator for the program, new details of the planned rollout, and an upcoming webinar for those interested in participating in or supporting the corps.

Two volunteers wearing t-shirts with Americorps logo.

Americorps volunteers. Courtesy of Americorps.


The Office of Climate and Energy (OCE) in the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) developed the MHC Corps initiative in partnership with the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC). The corps’ aim is to leverage state and federal investments to further goals of the MI Healthy Climate Plan – the state’s road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 for a healthy, prosperous, and equitable future that averts the worst impacts of climate change.

Corps members can serve with hosts in state agencies, tribal governments, local governments, or nonprofit organizations to build capacity across the state, helping to guide federal and state resources and support to communities and people who need it most. Networking, training, and professional experience will develop members’ skills and relationships for career development. Corps members will receive stipends during their terms, and host fees are expected to be minimal.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s bipartisan 2024 “Make it in Michigan” state budget included a combined $2.6 million in state and federal Americorps funding – made available through the MCSC – over two years to support the MHC Corps, with the potential for additional resources to support the program as it progresses. The MCSC administers AmeriCorps funding for Michigan and fosters climate-focused programming through EGLE’s program and others in its AmeriCorps portfolio.

Launching in March 2024

The program plans a March 2024 start date for the first of two cohorts. The first cohort will serve into the fall for a term of about seven months, after which a second cohort will begin a full-service term of about 11 months. In future years, a growing Climate Corps is expected to offer additional community support and service opportunities throughout the state.

EGLE has selected CEDAM as a subcontractor to manage day-to-day implementation of the MHC Corps. CEDAM is an experienced AmeriCorps program operator, with more than 10 years of experience managing a successful statewide AmeriCorps program. In addition, CEDAM is a statewide coalition committed to building an equitable Michigan.

In preparation for launching, EGLE and CEDAM continue to engage with community partners, state agencies, and others to identify needs and opportunities for the program and establish processes to request support. Those interested in joining the MHC Corps or being a host can submit a form on the program’s website. Host partner applications are expected to open Oct. 30.

Webinar scheduled Nov. 9

State agencies, tribal governments, local governments, or nonprofits interested in hosting a corps member; individuals interested in joining the corps as members; and others interested in supporting the program are encouraged to attend a webinar, Building climate action capacity through the MI Healthy Climate Corps, from 11 a.m.-noon Thursday, Nov. 9. The webinar will cover how EGLE and partners adapted a tried-and-true model from other states to build this unique, transformative, equity-centered program that will advance Michigan’s bold climate goals.

A federal partner

The White House recently announced the American Climate Corps (ACC) initiative. While separate from the MHC Corps, the ACC shares similar aims to equip young people with career skills for the clean energy economy.

“We're excited and look forward to partnering with this initiative however it takes shape,” said Michigan Climate and Energy Advisor Cory Connolly at OCE. “Michigan can be a leading implementation state out of the gate through the combination of the MI Healthy Climate Corps cohort and coordination with other climate- and environment-focused AmeriCorps programs throughout the state.”