Kentucky Forestry Workforce and Training Program

Grants and Contracts Details


KY LSR Abstract Forestry workforce promotion and training Goal of Program The goal of the program would be to identify twenty to twenty-five high school students annually from Kentucky to attend training for a career in the Forest Products Industry. Eastern Kentucky will be the focus of the program due to its historically low-income underserved populations and the large presence of forest-based industries. An increase in skilled workers in the forest industries will provide communities and individuals with an increased economic benefit increasing industries’ ability to utilize an abundant raw material increasing production and maximizing value. Applicants will be located through program promotion utilizing the highly successful ForestryWorks!TM program materials developed by the Forestry Works Training Institute (FWTI). Promotion will consist of social media, partner networks, Kentucky’s Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, Kentucky Forest Industry Association, and the Kentucky Division of Forestry targeting the historically underserved located in Eastern Kentucky. Using the FWTI materials ForestryWorks!TM in classroom presentations, exhibits at job fairs, and other opportunities like the Kentucky Wood Expo, FFA and the Win With Wood youth competition programs will reach an estimated 10,000 people. Paid advertising will be considered if current plan does not reach the desired audience. Applications for participation in the “industry camp” will be gathered and reviewed by the project partners. Once these individuals are selected, they would be asked to participate in a two-week summer camp were they would be exposed to all aspects of the Forest Products Industry including forest management, timber & log procurement, logging, sawmilling, kiln drying, rough mill operations, profile knife grinding, moulder operations and CNC machining. In addition, a variety of industries will give presentations during each component of the camp describing the need for competent workers in that particular area of the industry, what the pay scale could be, and general overview of what the job would be like on a daily basis. At the end of the camp, staff would conduct one-on-one exit interviews with each participant providing guidance on how the prospective participant could pursue a career in the Kentucky Forest Products Industry. Staff would help the participants align interests with what part of the state they might want to live - to the job opportunities in that area. Guidance would be provided to help the participant choose the next course of action, such as training and educational opportunities. The Program Team The program team consists of staff from the University of Kentucky Department of Forestry and Natural Resource Department (UKFNR), the Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF), and the Kentucky Forest Industry Association (KFIA). • UKFNR staff would include two and possibly three (a new hire) Extension Associates who’s responsibilities are to provide technical support to the industry which includes workforce development. The department chair and undergraduate program coordinator would also provide support to the program • KDF would provide support though their Forest Resource Utilization staff position • KFIA’s Executive Director would help with coordination, promotion, and camp activities It would be this group that would conduct the classroom presentations, Job fair promotions, organize and present materials for the summer camp, and general management of program. Deliverables The program team will conduct eight in-classroom industry promotion presentations and attend job fairs or other events using the ForestryWorks!TM promotional materials. We would perform these activities annually for three years. We will also commit to organizing, promoting, and managing an industry two-week summer camp for three years. UKFNR has facilities in Eastern Kentucky that would work well for conducting a camp – Robinson Forest and the UK Wood Utilization Center. These facilities include a camp, a 14,000-acre research and education forest, classrooms spaces, sawmill and pavilion and a wood processing lab that includes equipment for manufacturing secondary wood products. The wood lab includes a small kiln, rough mill, gluing equipment, laser engraving equipment, moulder and grinding equipment, and CNC machinery.
Effective start/end date12/1/236/30/26


  • KY Division of Forestry: $107,050.00


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