Jayapal leads lawmakers to introduce Workforce for Climate Resilience Act

The legislation makes bold investments in building a skilled workforce that can prepare for and respond to the climate crisis while creating millions of jobs and centering communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change. harms of climate change

WASHINGTON- United States Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) led lawmakers today to introduce legislation to boldly invest in a workforce that can prepare for and respond to climate change. The Climate Resilience Workforce Act creates the skilled, equitable, and necessary workforce America needs to achieve climate resilience while creating millions of well-paying union jobs and centering communities that are disproportionately impacted by the worsening of the climate crisis.

This intersectional proposal also funds the development of regional, state, local and community action plans for climate resilience. Additionally, he is creating an Office of Climate Resilience within the White House, launching new workforce development programs, and removing barriers to employment.

“As we continue to push to enact a Build Back Better Act that includes the largest climate change effort in American history, we refuse to leave behind frontline communities, climate resilience and the workers”, said Congresswoman Jayapal. “The groundbreaking Climate Resilience Workforce Act responds to the worsening climate crisis on the scale needed by investing in a skilled workforce that can not only respond, but also prepare for the destructive effects of climate change. As we create millions of well-paying, unionized jobs and center the very communities that are disproportionately impacted, we are finally building back better, greener and stronger.

The Climate Resilience Workforce Act would build the workforce our nation needs to achieve climate resilience by:

  • Creating millions of climate-resilient jobs through grants to states, counties, cities, tribal governments, labor organizations, and community nonprofit organizations.
  • Removing barriers to employment in climate resilience occupations based on immigration status and previous involvement in the criminal justice system by providing a roadmap to citizenship for workers employed in climate resilience sectors or in workforce training programs. and prohibiting employers from asking about criminal backgrounds before an offer is made.
  • Fund existing workforce development programs and create new ones through grants that train workers for employment in climate resilience sectors, with a priority for pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs.
  • Invest in the development of regional, state, local and community action plans for climate resilience that center frontline communities and identify effective strategies to achieve climate resilience.
  • Create an Office of Climate Resilience within the White House which would emphasize planning, worker protection and fairness.

While the severity and frequency of weather-related disasters have increased at an alarming rate in recent years, the United States currently lacks the manpower needed to respond quickly and comprehensively to the crisis. The effects of these worsening climate disasters also disproportionately impact low-income communities, communities of color, and tribal and indigenous communities. Additionally, formerly and currently incarcerated people and undocumented immigrants play a vital role in supporting climate resilience – from fighting wildfires to helping communities prepare for and recover from climate disasters – but face significant barriers to employment and threats to their health and safety.

Current legislation is supported by local, national and international organizations that focus on a diverse but interconnected set of issues – from climate and immigration to criminal justice reform and workers’ rights. Organizations supporting architecture include the Architecture Lobby, Data for Progress, Food & Water Watch, 350 Seattle, Sunrise Movement, Casa Latina, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, Resilience Force, Friends of the Earth US, The Union of Concerned Scientists, Sierra Club, Indivisible, Seattle Aquarium, National Immigration Project (NIPNLG), National Immigration Law Center, Make the Road NY, People’s Action, SEIU, The Green New Deal Network, the National Immigrant Justice Center, OneAmerica and MoveOn.

“Climate change is here. The next flood or fire could strike at any time. We have to prepare. In 2022, hundreds of thousands of Americans are already reeling from tornadoes in Kentucky and wildfires in Colorado. Families need their homes, their schools, their hospitals to be rebuilt. Repairs are carried out by resilience workers. The Resilience Workforce makes recovery possible, but works without protection,” said Saket Soni, director of Resilience Force. “Rep. Jayapal’s Climate Resilience Workforce Act is a historic first of recognition for this workforce in Congress. It will tie labor standards to billions of dollars in aid, create good jobs for formerly incarcerated and will set immigrant resilience workers on the path to citizenship.Preparing the workforce that fuels our recovery is critical to preparing the climate, and Rep. Jayapal is leading the way.

“As the country still awaits strong federal climate legislation that will help us avoid the most egregious aspects of climate change, 350 Seattle is thrilled to see the introduction of the Climate Resilience Workforce Act,” says 350 Seattle. “This legislation will help our country begin to build a skilled and equitable climate resilient workforce.”

“The people, salmon and killer whales of Puget Sound are already experiencing the negative effects of climate change. We must do all we can to adapt to climate change while we work to mitigate it,” said the Puget Sound Partnership. “This bill will initiate work to help our human communities adapt to a changing world by creating gainful employment and training programs that focus on equity and climate justice and meet the needs of humans and our environment.”

“There is no climate justice without economic justice. While we know the transition to a new green economy will create millions of jobs, Congress will take bold action to ensure that Black, Indigenous, and people of color benefit from this transition,” said the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy. “The Climate Resilience Workforce Act will help put us on the path to training and employing a new generation of workers with equity as a guiding principle.

“Climate change poses acute risks to coastal and overburdened communities in addition to vulnerable ecosystems and wildlife,” said Robert W. Davidson, president and CEO, Seattle Aquarium. “We are grateful for Rep. Jayapal’s leadership on this legislation, which centers racial and social equity while advancing climate resilience.”

The legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Representatives Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Karen Bass (CA-37), Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Jamaal Bowman Ed.D (NY-16), Cori Bush (MO-01 ), André Carson (IN-07), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09), Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO-05), Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11), Veronica Escobar (TX-16), Jesús” Chuy” García (IL-04), Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Jared Huffman (CA-02), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Mondaire Jones (NY-17) , Barbara Lee (CA-13), Andy Levin (MI-09), Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32), Marie Newman (IL – 03), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-At Large), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Adam Smith (WA-09), Thomas R Suozzi (NY-03), Mark Takano (CA-41), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12).

A copy of the legislation is available here.

Michael A. Bynum