REDDING — Shasta College will receive $3.3 million as part of a four-year statewide Careers in Forestry partnership to expand forestry and fire-safety training programs throughout Northern California.
The Foundation for California Community Colleges is the lead agency for the total grant amount of $21.5 million awarded by the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration. The foundation’s proposal, California Resilient Careers in Forestry, will coordinate and expand forestry and fire-safety training programs in northeastern California’s Sierra Nevada and Cascade regions. Shasta College is one of eight regional hub partners working with the foundation on implementing this grant for the Shasta-Trinity-Tehama region.
Pictured is a Shasta College First Seat Tour in 2019. (Contributed photo Peter Griggs, Shasta College)
Shasta College will leverage the award from this grant to expand existing programs in logging, truck driving, and other forest-health-related programs. In addition, the grant money will help to provide additional student support staff, expand the infrastructure needed for the logging apprenticeship program, and improve access for students entering the forest sector, among other initiatives.
“This award is really about scaling up and expanding our existing programs as a result of the state’s investment in the development of our HELO certificate program through Cal Fire’s Forest Health program,” said Superintendent and President Joe Wyse. “We are so thankful for our industry partners’ advice, resources, and expertise, which have helped position Shasta College as a leader in Forest Health education, training, and support for this critical industry.”
The award announcement spurred industry partners to comment on what this award means and the successful industry partnership with Shasta College.
“Sierra Pacific Industries is proud to support the Statewide Resilient Careers in Forestry Initiative,” said Andrea Howell, corporate affairs director. “With the risk of catastrophic wildfires at an all-time high, it is imperative to have a skilled workforce doing the important on-the-ground work to improve the resiliency of California’s forests. This regional training program is vital to building the workforce that is critically needed to protect the benefits derived from healthy, resilient forests: wildlife habitat, clean air and water, recreation, sustainable forest products, and strong rural economies and communities.”
Delbert Gannon, owner of Creekside Logging and past-president of Sierra Cascade Logging Conference, said the programs will provide jobs in the region.
“I have been personally involved with the college advisory committees throughout the design, development, and implementation of Shasta College’s HELO, CRAFT, and First Seat programs,” Gannon said. “Shasta College’s programs are designed to build workforce capacity in our industry and provide opportunity for livable wage jobs for our region.”