Biden's Taxpayer-Funded Climate Corps Hiring Anti-Racist Gardeners

Biden created the Climate Corps via executive action last year after urging from Ocasio-Cortez

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April 29, 2024

President Joe Biden’s taxpayer-funded American Climate Corps is looking to hire dozens of "Garden Educators" who will work on "activating elementary school gardens as a learning laboratory for environmental education." Job postings for the $20-per hour-position list "a commitment to social justice and anti-racism" as one of the "preferred qualifications."

Biden, who created the Climate Corps via executive action last year as part of his "historic commitment to tackle the climate crisis," announced the launch of a new website last week advertising 2,000 open positions in the corps. The job openings include up to 30 slots for "Garden Educators" in San Francisco, in coordination with the nonprofit Strategic Energy Innovations.

Applicants will "spark children’s interest in science and develop their connection with the natural world to advance science and eco-literacy in public schools by activating elementary school gardens as a learning laboratory for environmental education," the job summary reads.

The preferred qualifications for the position include "a commitment to Climate Corps Education Outside’s mission and vision, a commitment to social justice and anti-racism, a desire to work in a public school setting, and experience working with children and adults from diverse backgrounds."

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was one of the earliest and loudest proponents of a taxpayer-funded Climate Corps. She and Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey (D.) introduced legislation in 2021 to fund such an initiative, though she later urged Biden to create the program via executive action, which he did.

The Biden administration’s launch of its Climate Corps website comes as the president has cozied up to Ocasio-Cortez, amid concerns of lagging support on his left flank. The congresswoman has become a key surrogate for the president on the campaign trial. She appeared alongside Biden at an Earth Day event last Monday in Virginia, and later that day discussed the Israel-Hamas war with Biden and Sens. Markey and Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).

Other job opportunities on the Climate Corps website include becoming a "Lawn Busters Specialist" to help Silicon Valley residents convert their lawns "into drought tolerant landscapes" and working as a "Trail Operations Technician" to help manage mountain bike trails in Nevada.

Biden’s 2024 budget calls for Congress to authorize an additional $8 billion to further expand the Climate Corps program, according to a March press release from the White House.

Biden last week stressed what he said is the importance of the Corps in fighting climate change and urged young Americans to apply.

"You’ll get paid to fight climate change, learning how to install those solar panels, fight wildfires, rebuild wetlands, weatherize homes, and so much more that’s going to protect the environment and build a clean energy economy," Biden said during his Earth Day remarks.

He also gave Ocasio-Cortez a shout-out, saying: "I learned a long time ago: Listen to that lady."