COLUMBIA, SC – JUNE 22: South Bend Democratic presidential candidate Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg addresses the crowd at the South Carolina Democratic Party State Convention on June 22 2019 in Columbia, South Carolina.
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Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday proposed a plan to dramatically expand service opportunities for young American adults while providing them with financial incentives such as debt relief.
“A New Call to Service” aims to create a network of 1 million national service members by 2026, Politico and other reported outlets.
Buttigieg, who will present the plan today in Iowa, said he was motivated by his own service in the U.S. Navy Reserve, which taught him valuable skills such as how to interact with people with different points of view.
“National service can help us make connections between very different types of Americans, as was my experience in the military,” Buttigieg said in a statement. “I have served alongside and entrusted my life to people with totally different political views.”
South Bend, Indiana Mayor’s Plan Combines Service Opportunities With Financial Benefits For Young Adults Who May Be Eligible For Student Debt Cancellation, Job Training And Hiring Preference .
The plan targets high schools, community colleges, vocational schools, and historically black colleges and universities, as well as young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not working or attending school, Politico reported.
The initiative would increase the ranks of National Service members to 250,000, more than tripling the existing 75,000 positions, which would cost $ 20 billion over 10 years, according to AP. It is not known how these and other costs of the program would be covered.
Through this plan, Buttigieg would fund existing groups such as Americorps and create new types of organizations similar to Climate Corps, Community Health Corps and Intergenerational Service Corps.
The ultimate goal is to create a pipeline that can accommodate up to 4 million high school students who would participate in the programs each year.
Previously, presidential candidate Seth Moulton released his own “National Guarantee for Service Education,” a plan focused on the 33.4 million Americans aged 17 to 24. His plan would also offer financial incentives such as additional tuition fees and job training.
Buttigieg’s plan offers a new approach to tackling student debt, an issue other Democratic nomination contestants have also addressed. Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Announced a plan to cancel the country’s $ 1.6 trillion in student loans, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, D.-Mass., Suggested legislation that would eliminate $ 50,000 in student loan debt for each of the 42 million Americans.
The Buttigieg campaign did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.