This week, the White House unveiled its American Jobs Plan, which, among other objectives, is designed to improve the nation’s infrastructure, invest in clean energy, advance environmental justice, and spur employment for millions of our fellow citizens.

The Biden plan also targets climate change by establishing the previously proposed Civilian Climate Corps, a wide-ranging blueprint to put a new generation of Americans to work in carbon sequestration, reforestation, biodiversity, resource conservation and restoration, and more.

The Student Conservation Association sees these measures as an appropriate and effective response to the increasing threat of climate change. And now, more than a year into a deadly pandemic that has weakened the U.S. job market and further disenfranchised those on its margins, the need to act is even more urgent.

Unemployment for young people spiked to 27% at the height of the pandemic and has yet to return to normal levels. Joblessness among people of color is also far higher than in pre-virus times. The American Jobs Plan will place diverse groups of young people on a solid and equitable professional pathway as they build resiliency and sustainability at the federal, state, local, and tribal levels.

In its statement outlining the proposed improvements, the Biden Administration contends “this is no time to build back to the way things were.” SCA could not agree more. An agenda that includes renewable energy, clean water, climate-smart technologies, storm water management, recycling initiatives, wildfire mitigation, and more will move America forward.

SCA encourages lawmakers to move boldly as well and pass the American Jobs Plan.