FOR/Maine Coalition Wins Grant to Boost Maine’s Forest Product Sector Workforce 

Hallowell, Maine — August 15, 2023 — The FOR/Maine (Forest Opportunity Roadmap) Coalition is pleased to announce a grant of $113,243 to develop and offer a 10-week, virtual course that will enable Mainers to obtain micro-credentials or college credits needed for many jobs in Maine’s burgeoning forest sector. The Growing Maine’s Forest Product Sector Workforce funds are made possible by a private trustee’s group and are administered by the Maine Business Education Partnership

The course will be called “The Business of Maine’s Forestry Products Sector” and will leverage strong industry and workforce partnerships to link Mainers with job opportunities, job support resources, education, and industry experts. FOR/Maine, which is staffed by the Maine Development Foundation, will partner with Sunrise County Economic Council to develop and implement the course. It will be offered through Washington County Community College and available virtually to Mainers statewide. 

“Participants will come away with the knowledge, credentials and relationships they need to begin their own career journey and earn a family-supporting wage,” says Denise Cilley, Associate Director, Sunrise County Economic Council. “At the same time, companies will have a new pool of well-prepared candidates for the workforce they need to continue expanding in Maine.”  

The need for skilled workers across the forest sector is growing. The 2021 FOR/Maine Workforce Strategy Report indicates that by 2030, over 26% of the forest products workforce will have reached retirement age with 37% at retirement age by 2035. Younger workers coming into the field are well below replacement levels. 

“We have great jobs that pay family-supporting level salaries and generous benefits that we cannot fill,” says Ryan Bushey, Human Resources and Safety Manager for LP Corporation-Houlton and Chair of the FOR/Maine Workforce Committee. “Between 1,100 and 1,300 jobs will be needed in emerging forest industries over the next decade. In addition, approximately 1,500 to 1,750 jobs will be needed in the harvesting industry. Programs like this course are a tremendous help.”  

To learn more about FOR/Maine, visit

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