White House announces $60 million to build climate-ready workforce

June 11, 2024
The Climate-Ready Workforce initiative is focused on preparing and placing people in jobs that will advance climate resilience nationwide, ensuring coastal communities are prepared for the worst impacts of climate change.

The Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced $60 million in funding to help train and place people in jobs that advance a climate-ready workforce for coastal and Great Lakes states, Tribes and Territories as part of the White House's Investing in America agenda under the Inflation Reduction Act.

The funding will support nine projects around the nation, with $50 million going directly to the projects and $10 million for technical assistance to support the grantees. The projects include:

  • Expanding and Strengthening an Indigenous Workforce for Climate Resilience in Alaska
  • Empowering a Resilient Workforce for American Samoa
  • Los Angeles County Climate Ready Employment Council
  • The Climate Resilient Skills Training Program (Louisiana)
  • The Greater Boston Coastal Resilience Jobs Alliance
  • Training a Climate-Ready Workforce to Manage the Impacts
    of Climate Change on Water Resources in Ohio Coastal
  • Texas Green Workforce Collaborative
  • Climate Resilience Training to Implement Nature-Based
    Solutions in the Caribbean
  • Tribal Stewards: Cultivating Tribal Leadership & Equity in Natural Resource Co-Stewardship & Climate Resilience (Washington)

These funds, part of NOAA’s Climate-Ready Workforce initiative, will allow NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program, Climate Program Office and Office for Coastal Management to fund sectoral partnerships that will develop and implement job training programs. These programs will include wraparound services to help make training opportunities more accessible. 

“Thanks to the leadership of President Biden, this major investment in public, private and educational organizations will train workers from around our coasts and help them find good-paying jobs that strengthen climate resilience and local economies,” said U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “Climate change accelerates the need for a new generation of skilled workers who can help communities address a wide range of climate impacts including sea level rise, flooding, water quality issues and the need for solutions such as renewable energy.”

The Climate-Ready Workforce initiative is focused on preparing and placing people in jobs that will advance climate resilience nationwide, ensuring coastal communities are prepared for the worst impacts of climate change. The program will also assist employers in developing a 21st-century workforce that is climate literate and skilled at addressing climate challenges.

“Our goal of building climate resilience across the nation depends upon creating a trained, well-paid and supported climate-ready workforce,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D. “Each of these projects in coastal, Tribal and Territorial communities is tailored to tackle the most pressing climate needs of their communities and will focus on recruiting people for training and jobs from disadvantaged communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change impacts.”

The announcement builds on more than $50 billion of resilience investments across the President’s Investing in America Agenda, which includes investments designed to ensure communities across the country are prepared for the worst impacts of climate change. 

The Climate-Ready Workforce for Coastal States, Tribes and Territories Initiative advances the Biden-Harris Investing in America agenda in multiple ways. This work is a component of the $3.3 billion investment in NOAA’s Climate-Ready Coasts and Communities Initiative through the Inflation Reduction Act to help American communities prepare, adapt and build resilience to weather and climate events. 

“Sea Grant and our partners are pleased to address these critical workforce development needs to support our coastal and Great Lakes communities across the nation,” said Jonathan Pennock, director of NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program. “Sea Grant is uniquely positioned to help meet these needs through our emphasis on regional and place-based partnerships, leveraging local expertise and resources to make a meaningful impact on coastal communities.”

To date, awards like these from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda have created more than 270,000 jobs across the country

“Our climate is changing rapidly and the demand for authoritative climate information, tools, knowledge and resources is growing to keep pace,” said Benjamin DeAngelo, Climate Program Office acting director. “These Climate-Ready Workforce projects will enable the equitable provision of climate services in the form of job creation across a diverse range of communities and economic sectors.”