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Michigan Climate Corps
Welcome to the Michigan Climate Corps, an innovative initiative at the forefront of climate intervention and environmental resilience across Michigan. We're on a mission to empower communities and individuals throughout the state to actively forge a more sustainable and climate-resilient future. Our unique collaboration of diverse partners and AmeriCorps programs offers Michiganders an exciting platform to participate in critical climate strategies, champion environmental justice, and carve out green service-to-career pathways. Join us in our commitment to making a tangible impact on Michigan’s environment and discover your role in shaping a greener, healthier state.
What is the Michigan Climate Corps?
Michigan’s Climate Corps represents a coordinated, collaborative, service-based approach to climate intervention. The Michigan Climate Corps, operating under the Michigan Community Service Commission within the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, has leveraged federal, state, local, and private resources and diverse partnerships to increase the climate resiliency of Michigan communities by:
Prioritizing resources in Environmental Justice communities, where those who are least responsible for climate change bear the greatest burdens and have the fewest resources to address their diverse needs.
Increasing the capacity of local communities to develop and implement individualized climate adaptation and mitigation strategies.
Training young people in clean energy, conservation, and climate resilience, and creating and expanding pathways into green jobs through workforce development and training, apprenticeship, and pre-apprenticeship programs.
Coordinating federal, state, and local governments, nonprofits, universities, business and labor organizations, and local communities in the development of a statewide network of climate stakeholders to facilitate collaboration, share trends and best practices, and leverage resources for sustainability.
The Michigan Community Service Commission’s (MCSC) launch of the Michigan Climate Corps has positioned Michigan as a national leader in climate intervention and workforce development. MICC supports Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate Plan commitment to achieving 100% carbon neutrality in Michigan by 2050, and advances President Joe Biden’s climate goals and investing in America agenda, aligning with the President’s National Climate Resiliency Framework, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Inflation Reduction Act, and American Climate Corps Executive Order.
What does the Michigan Climate Corps do?
By summer 2024, we anticipate over 200 AmeriCorps members will be engaged in direct climate action and environmental conservation through Michigan’s Climate Corps. Our members will be at the heart of transformative service activities, including clean energy initiatives, land and water conservation, forestry management, green job workforce development, disaster prevention, community outreach, sustainable agriculture and infrastructure, and much more.
Being part of Michigan's Climate Corps as an AmeriCorps member is a profoundly enriching and impactful journey. Our members lead the way in climate action, embarking on projects that foster environmental sustainability and bolster community resilience. They're instrumental in serving Environmental Justice communities and play a pivotal role in ensuring equitable climate solutions. This experience not only nurtures Michigan's environment but also offers personal and professional growth, instilling a deep sense of accomplishment and community spirit.
For organizations, becoming a host site in the Michigan Climate Corps is an extraordinary chance to contribute directly to climate resilience and environmental stewardship. Host sites gain access to passionate, skilled AmeriCorps members who infuse climate-related projects with innovation and energy. This collaboration magnifies the host's environmental impact and strengthens their community network. By joining us, host sites shape a sustainable future while benefiting from the fresh perspectives and dedicated service of Corps members.
How do I join the Michigan Climate Corps?
Individuals serving as AmeriCorps members receive living stipends, AmeriCorps education awards, professional development, and connection to the national AmeriCorps network. Nonprofits and public agencies benefit from the skills and increased capacity delivered by AmeriCorps members. The Michigan Community Service Commission has funded eight diverse and impactful AmeriCorps programs across the state, each with its unique approach to climate intervention. Each is recruiting host sites and AmeriCorps members for Michigan’s Climate Corps. Get in touch with them today, or reach out to Amanda Scott, AmeriCorps Program Officer for Michigan’s Climate Corps, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michigan Healthy Climate Corps (MHCC): The Michigan Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy’s (EGLE) MHCC offers an exciting opportunity to contribute to Michigan’s climate goals. Beginning in early 2024, 30 AmeriCorps members will be placed in host sites across the state to collaborate on projects aligned with Governor Whitmer’s MI Healthy Climate Plan. In partnership with the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM), EGLE will help communities across the state develop and implement individual climate intervention strategies.
Ann Arbor Climate Corps (A2C2): A2C2 supports Ann Arbor's A2Zero plan, aiming for carbon neutrality by 2030. Starting in October 2023, ten AmeriCorps members began serving with A2C2 to focus on energy efficiency, waste reduction, and climate resiliency, particularly in Environmental Justice communities. Member activities enhance neighborhood-focused decarbonization, education, sustainable practices, and public land stewardship.
AmeriCorps Climate Ready (ACR) at Wayne State University: Launched in 2022, ACR engages AmeriCorps members in southeast Michigan's climate resiliency efforts, focusing on environmental hazards, energy efficiency, outreach and education, and green infrastructure. Supported by numerous partners, the program aims to create healthier, stronger communities through education and direct climate interventions.
Central Michigan University Rural Resiliency Corps: Debuting in fall 2024, this program will place members in rural municipalities and nonprofits, focusing on climate resilience activities such as capacity building, climate action plan development, and educational outreach. Members will also receive professional development, preparing them for green careers.
YouthWork Climate and Conservation Corps: These programs, started by Child & Family Services in 2018, empower young adults with job skills and experience and prepares them for careers in environmental conservation, sustainable skilled trades, and climate intervention. YouthWork prepares the next generation of stewards, emphasizing green jobs and prioritizing underserved youth and communities. The program has been recognized for its impact, receiving awards like the National Project of the Year from The Corps Network and the 2023 Governor’s Service Award for National Service Impact. Member activities focus on climate intervention and environmental conservation activities, including habitat and waterway restoration, climate adaptation, trail building, and historic and cultural preservation.
The Huron Pines AmeriCorps Program: Operational since 2007, focuses on enhancing Michigan's natural resources and fostering environmental stewardship. Members engage local volunteers, community groups, and schools in service projects, hands-on learning opportunities, and educational workshops. The program has made significant achievements, including restoring over 1,000 miles of river, improving over 22,000 acres of public land, and connecting over 73,500 students with environmental education and stewardship opportunities.
Michigan Sustainable Business Forum (MISBF) AmeriCorps will join the Michigan Climate Corps via a planning grant to develop an AmeriCorps program where members will connect K-12 schools across Michigan with business leaders and mentors to address a gap in sustainability education and public participation in education. The relationships fostered in this project will encourage student sustainability learning and community engagement while equitably addressing environmental and social justice issues. Planning grant activities will focus on exploring national service as a solution, designing a strategy to engage AmeriCorps programming and writing any necessary applications to access AmeriCorps resources.
SEEDs Ecology and Education Centers AmeriCorps Program was awarded a Michigan Climate Corps planning grant from MCSC to vet and develop a scalable, replicable model to provide staffing support to rural Michigan communities and organizations. AmeriCorps members will be placed at host sites in nonprofit and community development organizations to help them build capacity to develop community and organization wide climate action targets. AmeriCorps members will engage host sites and communities in developing implementation plans and gathering the data necessary to track progress against their climate action goals.
How else can I be involved?
Are you a business, public agency, or nonprofit seeking innovative ways to contribute to climate action? The Michigan Climate Corps offers diverse partnership opportunities beyond being an AmeriCorps member or host site. Engage with us to have Climate Corps programs undertake impactful projects that align with your corporate social responsibility goals. We welcome sponsorships and donations to support our initiatives, providing crucial resources for our efforts. Collaborations can range from environmental projects to community outreach, offering a platform for your organization to make a significant impact. Let's work together to create sustainable solutions for Michigan's environment and communities. Reach out to explore how your organization can join this exciting movement!
Contact: Amanda Scott, AmeriCorps Program Officer for Michigan’s Climate Corps, at email@example.com.