For forest and rural communities in California, skilled workers are key to addressing economic and climate crises. Record-breaking wildfires destroyed 2.5 million acres in 2021 due to climate change. In California, climate-resilient landscapes could grow into a $39 billion industry employing 177,000 workers. There are projected shortages of 6,000 fire managers, 4,000 conservation scientists and foresters, 7,000 loggers, and 1,500 utility line clearance technicians, which are well-paying jobs with benefits. Putting skilled workers in quality, demand-driven jobs will aid economic recovery and rebuild communities.
With funding through the Good Jobs Challenge, the FoundationCCC established California Resilient Careers in Forestry, a regional workforce training system. As System Lead, FoundationCCC is partnering with industry to coordinate and strategically expand forestry and fire-safety training programs in the Sierra Nevada and Cascade regions of northeastern California. The project is led by a consortium of experienced partners, including: Butte College; Feather River College; Lake Tahoe Community College; Reedley College; Shasta College; Chico State Enterprises; California Conservation Corps; University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources; CAL FIRE, and the Sierra Business Council.
California Resilient Careers in Forestry will place rural and underserved Californians into high-quality jobs with opportunities for career advancement within the forestry and fire-safety sector. This project aims to mitigate wildfire risk, support equitable recovery from the pandemic and devastating wildfires, and reinvigorate good jobs. California Resilient Careers in Forestry will provide good jobs where they are most needed and help secure the economic and climate resiliency of California's forested communities.