North State Forestry Collaborative

Forestry Workforce Event

Thank you to the Morgan Family Foundation for the seed funding for this important initiative.

The first presenters were Courtney Farrell and Hayley Stone, Program Managers from California State, Chico, and the North State Planning and Development Collaborative. They presented some initial findings from the Forest Sector Workforce Needs Survey, covering most of the state. Some highlights include that critical forestry positions to be filled in the near term (next 12 months) pay an average wage of $25.21/hour. Since there are few candidates for these jobs currently, the takeaway is that CA Community Colleges and industry partners should be looking to provide certificates and other training for these forestry jobs as the need is great.

The final presentation was from Josh Metz of Monterey Bay DART (Drone Automation and Robotics Technologies). He reviewed the Drone Forestry Career Pathways report highlighting the innovative use of drones and other robotic technology in forest and fire management. One of the key takeaways is that of the more than 600 colleges in California, only 10 have the Federal Aviation Administration unmanned aircraft systems collegiate training (FAA – UAS CTI) program. There is a big opportunity for colleges to add this to their curriculum and provide this important technology certificate. This is also an emerging field for forestry and provides opportunities for wages up to $42/hour.

3Core and Chico Media Group also produced a video about Drone Forestry:

The North State Forestry Collaborative partners that hosted this event include the Tahoe Prosperity Center, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, 3Core, Redwood Coast Rural Action, and the Sierra Business Council. More details on these reports, the recording of the webinar, and future updates can be found here.