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MI Healthy Climate Corps opens sign-up, readies for March launch
November 03, 2023
EGLE initiative focuses on MI Healthy Climate Plan goals,
Sign-up is open for people and organizations interested in Michigan’s new MI Healthy Climate Corps (MHC Corps), a unique, transformative, equity-centered opportunity beginning in March 2024 to advance Michigan’s bold climate goals, build capacity across the state, and help guide federal and state resources and support to communities and people in greatest need.
Powered by members of the federal AmeriCorps agency for national service and volunteerism, the MHC Corps will 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.
MHC corps members will serve with hosts in state agencies, local and tribal governments, and nonprofit organizations. Prospective host partners, corps members, and anyone interested in supporting the program can sign up at MiHealthyClimateCorps.org. A one-hour informational webinar, Building Climate Action Capacity Through the MI Healthy Climate Corps, will be presented at 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 9.
The MHC Corps’ first cohort will serve from March through fall 2024 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, the corps expects to offer additional community support and service opportunities throughout the state.
Corps members will receive stipends and benefit from career-focused networking, training, and professional experience. Host partner fees are expected to be minimal.
The Office of Climate and Energy (OCE) in the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) developed the MHC Corps in partnership with the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC). The Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM) will implement the program.
“The corps will build on the MI Healthy Climate Plan to continue positioning Michigan as a climate leader with a future-focused workforce,” said Michigan Climate and Energy Advisor Cory Connolly at the OCE. “We look forward to helping communities and individuals throughout Michigan reach their goals.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s bipartisan 2024 “Make it in Michigan” state budget included 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.
AmeriCorps provides opportunities for Americans of all backgrounds to serve their country, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, and improve lives and communities.
In a related initiative, the White House recently announced the American Climate Corps (ACC), a project of Americorps; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and the U.S. Departments of Labor, Interior, Agriculture, and Energy. While separate from the MHC Corps, the ACC shares similar aims to address the climate crisis and equip young people with career skills for the clean energy economy.
“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,” Connolly said.