Categories: Breaking News, Training

California receives $21.5 million for forestry and fire-safety jobs training


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The Sierra Nevada and Cascade regions have received $21.5 million in funding for a project that is set to strengthen the infrastructure for workforce development by investing in forestry and fire safety jobs.

The project, funded by the federal Good Jobs Challenge, is being rolled out by the Foundation for California Community Colleges, California State University Chico, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the Sierra Business Council.

The project, which will be carried out over four years, will help train and place qualified workers into high-quality jobs in the forestry sector, responding to urgent needs to build economic and climate resilience in California’s forested, rural communities.

Five community colleges – Butte College, Feather River College, Lake Tahoe Community College, Reedley College and Shasta College – California State University Chico, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Sierra Business Council are partnering on the project. 

Susie Kocher, UC Cooperative Extension forestry and natural resources advisor for the Central Sierra said: “There is so much work to be done in California to increase the resilience of forests and communities to wildfires and climate change, and there are just not enough trained workers to do all this work.

“A recent assessment estimated upcoming shortages of 6,000 fire managers, 4,000 conservation scientists and foresters, 7,000 loggers and 1,500 utility line clearance technicians. California desperately needs skilled workers to fill those jobs to protect and rebuild communities in rural parts of the state. And these are well-paying jobs with benefits.”

Keetha Mills, president of the Foundation for California Community Colleges, said: “We are honored to be selected as one of the Good Jobs Challenge award recipients alongside a talented group of partners serving rural communities, including several of our California community colleges.

“This work is critical to help Californians access good jobs, especially as we help our state respond to the urgent needs of climate change and support economic growth in regions greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters.”

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