Climate Action Corps – Host Partners
Join us in this first-of-its kind effort for California by hosting Fellows who will spend 7.5 months implementing climate action projects in your community!
The deadline for Host Partner Applications for the Climate Action Corps Pilot has passed.
How the California Climate Action Corps Works
Climate Action Corps is dedicated to mobilizing climate actions designed to engage your community members, empower change, and leave a lasting impact. In our pilot year, Climate Action Corps will provide host partners with 7.5 months of community climate action support via Fellows – highly motivated emerging leaders – recruited, placed, and supported by the Local Government Commission’s CivicSpark program.
All Climate Action Corps Fellows are CivicSpark AmeriCorps Members. Fellows will have at a minimum an associates or a college degree in a relevant field, and relevant workplace and/or community service experience. Fellows are placed with partner organizations across the state (in teams of two or more) where they will spend about 900-1000 hours on project implementation. Program staff supports both Fellows and host partner Site Supervisors. Program staff also coordinate Fellow professional development activities (roughly 200 hours).
Public agencies, State agencies, Native American Tribes, and Non-Profit Organizations can host Fellows as long as they define projects for the Fellows to support that include or combine at least the following elements:
- Defined and measurable climate pollution reduction, resiliency benefits, or disaster recovery activities (e.g. projected GHG reductions, wildfire risk reduction, flood protection, increased green space, etc.)
- Community engagement and volunteerism components that provide community members a way to directly take action on climate change issues and can capture their actions.
- An element that addresses local environmental, climate, public health vulnerabilities. Ideally, projects should focus on communities with overlapping demographic, geographic, and environmental vulnerabilities.
- A community climate capacity component that builds resources, tools, knowledge, or relationships between local stakeholders, including local government, community-based organizations, and individuals, while providing tangible “products” for ongoing use.
While each project will be different based on the Host Partners needs and planned activities, for compliance with AmeriCorps reporting, all projects will include 5 elements: a pre-service “capacity” survey, a Fellow led “gap assessment, the project itself, transitional activities to share outcomes, and a post-service follow-up post-service capacity survey.
Tangible and impactful community climate action projects
- Clear, suitable scope of work
- Commitment to implementation
- Strong connection to community need
- Appropriate and safe for implementation with COVID-19 limitations
Commitment to Fellows growth and development
- Direct project oversight
- Dedicated Fellow supervisor
- Determine Fellow’s strengths
- Set professional goals
- Conduct performance assessments
- Provide development opportunities
Climate Action Corps Fellows will be placed with Host Partners through the CivicSpark Program. CivicSpark is a federally-funded AmeriCorps program run by the Local Government Commission that uses national service to build community capacity to address emerging environmental and/or socio-economic issues. We must follow strict requirements on what partners we can work with and how we define our service to local public agencies.
- Host Partners can be public agencies, colleges, and universities, tribes, or NGOs. Fellows cannot serve directly with a for-profit organization (however for-profit organizations can sponsor Fellows on a case-by-case basis).
- Fellows must have a defined climate action scope of work for projects that align with the elements described above.
- Host Partners must agree to follow all AmeriCorps requirements and prevent Fellows from participating in prohibited activities.
- Host Partners must provide required eligibility information and complete a pre- and post-service Capacity Assessment survey.
Note, unlike most AmeriCorps programs, in this pilot year, Host Partners are not expected to provide any match funding.
Climate Action Corps will offer a structure of support in which the Local Government Commission (LGC) staff work with project partners to coordinate a positive Fellowship experience.
- Site Supervisors (Host Partner staff) provide direct project supervision for Fellows and provide overall Fellow supervision as well as some professional development support.
- LGC staff provide program support, Fellow development training, act as a local liaison to the partner, and coordinate reporting requirements and other program logistics.
Step 1: Submit Online Project Application
- Prepare and Submit your application by October 16 2020.
- A complete application includes the following:
- Contact information for a site supervisor, project lead(s), and contracting lead;
- Concise project summary; and
- Confirmation that you understand and agree to the program requirements.
- We encourage you to prepare your application offline as the online submission cannot be saved.
- We estimate it should take 30-45 minutes to complete the application form once you have developed your project concept.
Step 2: Application Review & Follow-Up
- Working with State Partners, LGC will review and rank project applications based on strength of fit for program goals and then schedule a call with select project lead contacts to:
- Learn more about your needs;
- Confirm eligibility;
- Ensure there is a clear project scope that is suitable for an AmeriCorps Fellow; and
- Determine if the Climate Action Corps is a good fit for your needs.
- The purpose of this step is to ensure your project will deliver results while also meeting our goals as an AmeriCorps program.
Step 3: Project Approval & Contracting
- LGC and State partners will then review and consider a suite of projects for approval based on programmatic priorities.
- Approved host partners must complete a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU outlines mutual roles and responsibilities between project partners and LGC. MOU’s should be completed by January 1, 2021 to ensure Fellows can start on time.
Step 4: Candidate Review and Interviewing
- After being approved and once we have a pool of qualified applicants, LGC begins to share candidates for consideration that have been pre-screened and have completed an initial interview. The Partner interviews candidates they feel could be a good fit and lets LGC know preferences. LGC makes offers to candidates for the partner.
- We encourage partners to share their placement opportunities with local universities, community colleges, and community hubs.
Step 5: Pre-Service Capacity Assessment
- Host partners must complete a Pre-Service Capacity Assessment survey prior to the start of service. This survey establishes baseline information about organization’s capacity needs and goals. This information is used by Fellows to complete their Gap Assessments and to evaluate success after project completion. Capacity Assessments should be completed by January 1, 2021 to ensure Fellows have this key resource when they start in mid January.
Host Partners must demonstrate a “capacity need,” measured by meeting at least one of the following criteria:
Absence of an adopted and up-to-date strategy (plan, element or other) that comprehensively addresses the target climate action issue with appropriate funding, programs, and policies, to implement the strategy. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Climate Mitigation or Adaptation Plan
- Local Hazard Mitigation Plan
- Food Recovery Plan
- Wildfire Prevention Plan
- Urban Greening Plan
A defined resiliency capacity gap as evidenced by at least 1 significant community program, policy, or planning goal for a specific climate change issue that has not been met, or cannot be met, without resource or system development assistance. Capacity gap should have defined targets such as:
- Success rates
- Quality of outcomes
- Resource deployment
- Services provided
- People reached
The fellows have been great to work with and I am confident they have great careers ahead of them. The work they are doing for us and the cities of the region is invaluable.
CivicSpark has been an invaluable resource to the County of Santa Barbara, and we’re still experiencing the benefits. Once our ECAP was adopted and the rubber hit the road, our CivicSpark Fellow was able to take on a crucial role in coordinating implementation, and monitoring and reporting.
Our CivicSpark fellows have brought a fresh perspective on how we engage the community in energy planning in the Sierra Nevada, and they are not short on ambition.
The projects our fellow is working on are important for the County’s success in designing and implementing climate action strategies. They are also significant components in broader thinking about long-term sustainability. Without our CivicSpark fellow, these significant pieces of work would be several years out for their completion.
The CivicSpark has been invaluable to the successful launch of our building energy transparency requirement…Collaboration of the CivicSpark Bay Area team has enriched our program through new perspectives and best practices from other cities. It has been a great experience for all involved.
Our CivicSpark members have been very active, enthusiastic, and engaged with our staff and have been a pleasure to work with. Their outreach work and communication has been wonderful.
This program is providing a lot of value for us. When we are required to address the climate action plans, it is a requirement we can’t implement. This is providing us some real action and support and we are seeing progress.