As Maine forest products initiative advances, workforce shortage remains an issue

April 6, 2021

By Maureen Milliken

The issue for Maine’s forest product industry after a year of a pandemic economy is one it faced before the pandemic — finding the workforce to cut down, haul and manage the timber and the products it produces.

When Forest Opportunity Roadmap/Maine, a coaltion of industry stakeholders, was formed in 2018, the focus was on adding 30% growth to the industry by 2025. The virtual 2021 Maine Forest Bioeconomy Summit, to be held Friday, will assess the progress at the initiative’s halfway point, but the workforce issues are clear, said Patrick Strauch, executive director of the Maine Forest Products Council.

FOR/Maine partners are the council, the University of Maine, Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, Maine Development Foundation, Maine Woodland Owners and Biobased Maine.