In light of a recent report on the forest sector released by the North State Planning and Development Collective’s Center for Economic Development this spring, the Far North Center of Excellence (COE) has prepared several program endorsement reports analyzing forest sector employment to assist community college planning in the region.
Specifically, the Far North COE’s Forest Management and Reforestation Analysis finds there were more than 3,100 related jobs in the region in 2020, but that projected growth will be low, around 2%, with 462 annual job openings. The greatest employment demand is projected for forest and conservation technicians.
The North State Planning and Development Collective’s report presents several findings that have spurred stakeholders in the region to take a closer look at education and training pathways in the region.
Some key findings from the Collective’s forest sector report include:
- The sector’s need for qualified personnel is growing faster than the available talent pool.
- The lack of qualified candidates for critical positions is projected to have significantly negative economic impacts on the forest sector.
- The forest sector has difficulty filling many critical positions due to the small pool of qualified candidates.
It is important to note that while the Collective’s report focuses on occupations with a broad range of educational attainment requirements, the Far North COE’s analysis focuses on middle-skill and above-middle skill occupations that are relevant to community college training.
Based on an employer survey, the Collective’s report also notes that the three most critical positions to fill in the Northern Region are forest and conservation scientists, laborers, and management. In the Sierra and East Side Region, the three most critical positions are conservation scientists, administration workers, and management.