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Grant for ‘Good Jobs’ in Forestry to Benefit 5 CCCs

August 30, 2022

American Rescue Plan Good Jobs ChallengeForestry and fire safety workforce training for California college students will get a big boost from a four-year, $21.5 million grant funded through the American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge.

Led by the Foundation for California Community Colleges, the California Resilient Careers in Forestry project will be a coalition of five CCCs — Butte College, Feather River College, Lake Tahoe Community College, Reedley College and Shasta College — as well as California State University Chico, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources division, and the Sierra Business Council.

“We are honored to be selected as one of the Good Jobs Challenge award recipients alongside a talented group of partners serving rural communities, including several of our California community colleges,” said Keetha Mills, President of the Foundation. “This work is critical to help Californians access good jobs, especially as we help our state respond to the urgent needs of climate change and support economic growth in regions greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters.”

The forestry project is in direct response to the wildfire crisis in California. The foundation is teaming with industry and leading educational institutions to scale a statewide infrastructure for training in forest health and fire safety.

This emerging sector has the potential to grow into a $39 billion industry with 177,000 jobs in California, according to a project summary. However, there is a projected shortage of thousands of workers in critical areas including fire management, conservation, logging, and utility line clearance.

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein applauded the grant.

“As California works to adapt to the changing nature of wildfires, we must ensure we have sufficient personnel to work in the growing forestry and wildfire prevention sectors,” Feinstein said. “This grant will help create new pathways for Californians to find good paying jobs while preparing our state to better deal with wildfires.”

The California Resilient Careers in Forestry project was one of 32 Good Jobs Challenge grants awarded from a pool of over 500 applicants. Nearly all of the grant awards involve two-year public colleges. Learn more about the California Resilient Careers in Forestry project here.