Forest Economy Workforce Development

Our forest economy offers many exciting and rewarding opportunities for people who want to work in the woods, in wood shops, or in other ways contribute to our collective goal of keeping our forests as forests. The goal of these workforce development materials is to help businesses across Vermont’s forest economy and wood products supply chain strengthen industry relationships and explore development opportunities. Let’s keep our forests as forests!

Vermont Forest Economy Career Guide

The Vermont Forest Economy Career Guide

The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund and the Vermont Forest Industry Network recently released a forest economy career guide that will help those interested in learning more about jobs in the forest economy! This career guide looks at the wide range of forest economy careers along with important details such as titles, starting salaries, and degrees or training required. You CAN make a living playing the woods!

Explore Jobs in Vermont’s Forest Economy

Video Resources

Working in Forestry – Stewards of Our Forests

Working in Forestry – Stewards of Our Forests

Meet Charlie Hancock, a consulting forester and owner of Northwoods Forestry. Like many Vermonters, Charlie grew up in and around forests and has an affinity for nature and being outdoors. His love for the outdoors led him to pursue a career in forestry where he can spend time in nature helping our forests thrive!

Sawmilling – A Zero Waste Mindset

Sawmilling – A Zero Waste Mindset

A career in sawmilling is an exciting, engaging work experience. No two days look the same for Trevor Allard, vice president of Allard Lumber Company. His advice to those interested in a career in lumber is to have a strong work ethic and stay motivated. Sawmilling is serious business that requires mechanical know-how, but it is also where you can help turn logs into lumber used for so many products we use every day!

Woodworking – From the Woods to Woodshops

Woodworking – From the Woods to Woodshops

Woodworkers are responsible for turning a rough board into a final product, including both the technical and creative steps along the way. Meet Jared Williams and Catherine Emil, two woodworkers who pursued their passions and landed careers in woodworking. This engaging career allows them to use their creativity to build whatever they dream up!

Additional Workforce Resources

The Vermont Forest Industry Network hosted a workforce meetup in the fall of 2021 to discuss Vermont’s workforce development landscape, challenges, and opportunities as they relate to our forest economy. The Meet Up explored statewide initiatives to address worker shortages to forest economy projects seeking to address gaps within the forest and wood products industry. Vermont has a tremendous number of resources for employers and employees. Below you’ll find access links to presentations, programs and other helpful contacts.

Vermont Forest Economy Workforce Programs

Vermont Forestry Industry Summit

2024 VT Forest Industry Summit
June 6, 2024
Bolton Valley Resort
Learn More

Vermont Forest Industry News

Click here to sign up for Vermont forest industry news and events.

The Rough Cut Vermont Forest Industry eNews
Get in Touch

Contact Christine McGowan
Forest Products Program Director
(802) 828-5770

Vermont’s Forestry Industry

Vermont’s forest products industry generates an annual economic output of $1.5 billion and supports 10,000 jobs. In addition, Vermont’s forest recreation economy generates another $1.9 billion in economic output, and supports 10,000 additional jobs. The industry was hit hard in the 2008 Recession, and finding markets for low grade wood (the majority of wood harvested from Vermont’s forests) is becoming increasingly difficult due to a sharp decline in the region’s pulp industry, combined with the low price of oil and a move away from expanding electric-only biomass in the region. Markets for high grade wood are healthy, but cannot singularly sustain Vermont’s forest products industry. Without healthy markets for low grade wood, Vermont is likely to see continued decline in the industry’s in-state infrastructure such as logging operations, sawmills and kilns, as well as the local jobs they sustained.

Our Role

Over the past 20 years, the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund has provided industry analysis, expertise and project support, which positions the Vermont Forest Products Program to have a positive impact on the state’s forestry sector in rural communities throughout the state. Vermont’s forest products industry is imperative for job creation and sustainability, providing economic, environmental, and social benefits for rural communities that have limited economic opportunities. The Vermont Forest Products Program aims to help create and sustain thousands of jobs for Vermonters.

The Vermont Forest Products Program is supported by the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative, the High Meadows Fund, the Windham Foundation as well as the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Northern Border Regional Commission.

VSJF Vermont Sustainability Funders

Become a Funder

Are you interested in funding one of our programs or services? We are seeking funders to achieve our sustainable economic goals as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
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VSJF Vermont Sustainability Clients

Become a Client

Are you interested in becoming a client to grow your business, industry sector, or replicate one of our approaches? We offer a suite of services for businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies.
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Become a Partner

Are you interested in partnering with us to build a thriving economic, social, and ecological future for Vermont? We invite collaboration from diverse stakeholders in all areas of our work.
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