Future Forest Stewards Host North Star Expo

Friday, November 30, 2018

Wood and timber products are one of Minnesota’s valuable natural resources. The forestry industry provides a wide variety of good-paying jobs in the region with benefits, flexibility and room to grow. As much of the industry’s workforce approaches retirement, it is essential to attract the next generation with opportunities to build careers close to home. Additionally, jobs in the forestry industry fall on a wide spectrum of qualification – ranging from entry-level positions with on-the-job training up to jobs that require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.  

Future Forest Stewards (FFS) was created through a partnership with the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce’s Forestry Affairs Committee with a goal of shepherding the next generation into careers in the forestry industry. Through organizing a job fair in conjunction with the North Star Expo, FFS aimed to provide high school students opportunities to explore the wide range of good-paying jobs in the forestry industry.

FFS worked closely with the Department of Iron Range Resources Rehabilitation’s (IRRR) and the Applied Learning Institute (ALI), the Northeast Minnesota Office of Job Training (NMOJT) and many volunteers to organize the job fair and coordinate with regional high schools.   

In September, FFS invited high school juniors and seniors to learn more about careers in Minnesota’s forestry industry at the Minnesota Timber Producers Association’s 65th annual North Star Expo. The event was held at the Itasca County Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. 

The expo provided students first-hand opportunities to learn about the importance of the forestry industry in Minnesota and the wide variety of jobs that make Minnesota a strong timber and timber products producer. At the event, many career opportunities were highlighted in logging, trucking, foresters, millwork, mechanics, research, manufacturing, forest products and more.

Expo educational sessions for high school students included:

  • Logging Site
  • Forestry 101
  • Forest Industry and Minnesota
  • Jobs in the Industry

At each session, students heard from industry professionals and learned about many aspects of the forestry industry. “This was an exceptional setting for students to network and build relationships that will strengthen their educational and career prospects in the future,” stated Tamara Lowney, APEX Senior Business Developer.

For more information about FFS, contact Tamara Lowney.

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