Jobs in the Woods Act addresses workforce challenges of forestry

By Tim O’Hara, VP of Govt Affairs for the Forest Resources Association
The Hill
September 10, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The forest products industry, including loggers and log haulers, primary and secondary manufacturers, pulp and paper mills, paper packing plants, and paper facilities, is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the U.S., sustaining nearly 926,000 families and contributing $353 billion annually to the U.S. economy. The sustainability and competitive viability of the forest products industry relies on an intact, healthy wood supply chain, including labor. Mill labor shortages are limiting modernization and/or growth investments in existing and new manufacturing facilities, and our logging sector is aging (the average age of logging business owners is 55+), and many are planning to leave the business in five years. The workforce challenges are not only impacting the forest products industry. Access to a skilled workforce severely limits the US Forest Service’s ability to implement existing forest plans, achieve timber harvest commitments, and … replant forests, improve forest health, reduce the risk of wildfire, and protect communities. 

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