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Wood is sustainable, renewable, greenhouse-gas friendly, highly versatile, grown with relatively little effort. Forests provide clean air, water, wildlife habitat and biodiversity.

Maine needs ‘replacement’ workers

Age panelHow many logging equipment operators does Maine need? An average of 44 each year from 2010 to 2020, according to a labor analysis provided at MFPC’s request by the Maine Department of Labor Center for Workforce Research and Information. Jobs also will be opening up in for production, machine installation and repair, and trucking.

In late February, MFPC requested a labor analysis of the forest products industry from the Maine Department of Labor and our staff is still studying the results.  The Occupational Outlook 2010-2020 chart is based on foreseeable conditions, trends and statistical models, according to the DOL analysis. Economic events, such as mill closures, may significantly change outlook in forest products industries from levels projected here.

One important trend is clear:  Replacing retiring workers will be a key issue for the rest of the decade. The analysis showed that forest products industries have an older workforce than the private sector as a whole, with 62 percent of workers ages 45 and older, compared to 47 percent of workers at all private firms.

None of that will come as a surprise to those who have been following the recent research done in Maine and New England, including last fall’s Logger Training Survey, which found that 73 percent of contractors surveyed stated that there is a need for an equipment operator‐training program in Maine.  Those following news reports know about Canada’s campaign to recruit new forestry workers.  Experts predict Canada’s forestry companies will need to hire at least 60,000 people over the next seven years, with 40,000 of those replacing retiring baby boomers and 20,000 new positions created, as a stronger U.S. housing market brings more work to the sawmills.

As noted in earlier newsletters, there is growing concern in Maine, and throughout North America, that there will be insufficient qualified labor to meet the future harvesting and transportation needs of our industry, but this analysis is the first indication of home many new workers may be needed or must be trained.back to newsletter

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Maine Forest Products Week

Celebrate Maine Forest Products Week! Congress designated the third week of October (October 18-24, 2020) as National Forest Products Week (NFPW) to recognize the value of forest products and commit to conservation practices that help responsibly manage U.S. forests. This week celebrates the role and impact of forests and wood as an integral component to our nation's society. The week provides an opportunity to focus public attention on Maine’s forests and forest products industry and celebrate their importance to our state. Members of the industry, led by the Maine Forest Products Council, are planning a series of activities designed to engage and educate the public and the media.

When: Sun October 18 8:00 AM - Sat October 24 11:00 PM

MFPC Board Meeting

When: Thu November 12 1:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Where: MFPC Office, 535 Civic Center Drive, Augusta Maine
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Legislative Advocacy & Regulatory Monitoring
Make your voice heard in Augusta and Washington! MFPC employs three lobbyists who stay on top of legislative and regulatory initiatives affecting Maine’s forest products industry.

 

Networking
You’re invited! Take advantage of the Council’s many opportunities to visit with the who’s who of Maine’s forest products industry at any of our special events.

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