As logging companies face worker shortage, University of Idaho offers relief with new degree path

By Andrew Baertlein
September 13, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

VALLEY COUNTY, IDAHO — The timber industry labor shortage is considered a normalcy for second generation logger Gerry Ikola. …The timber industry accounts for nearly $2.5 billon of Idaho’s economy, according to Okerlund. The demand for timber products is only increasing, according to University of Idaho Forest, Rangeland and Fire Sciences Department head Charles Goebel. The University of Idaho is working directly with Idaho Loggers to find a potential solution to the issue by offering a new degree program, Goebel said. The two-year program awards an associates degree in Forest Operations and Technology. “We were being responsive to the forests products industry across the state,” Goebel said. It is one of the first associates degrees offered in university history. “This is not a foresters degree. This is a degree to train individuals that are interested in going out and working in the forest operations sector on logging operations,” Goebel said.

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