FRA

FRA

Three speakers discussed state and federal apprenticeship programs across the country, and how they can benefit your company and employees.
The Forest Resources Association and STIHL Incorporated honored Gray Logging, LLC from Madison, Florida, as the National Outstanding Logger at FRA’s 2021 Virtual Annual Meeting on May 19th.
Washington, D.C. - During the May 17-19, FRA 2021 Annual Meeting, the Forest Resources Association’s Board of Directors elected Pete Stewart, President/CEO of Forest2Market and Fisher International, to serve as the association’s chairman for the next two years.
President and CEO of Resource Management Service, LLC, Craig Blair, joined FRA members to discuss how RMS has navigated operations through the pandemic. He noted that throughout COVID-19, the forest products industry retained an adaptable business model and therefore remained resilient, and discussed how operations were now returning to normal. He also provided his predictions for the future of the industry, including current industry strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
The National Operations Committee-sponsored panel session, “Forest Operations Management During Tumultuous Times: The New Normal?”, addressed several relevant and timely topics that have impacted forest operations management and the wood supply chain during the past year. Bill Guthrie, General Manager – DS Smith, shared his company’s approach to continuing business operations while also ensuring employee safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chris Lunde, Director of Operations – Port Blakely, followed with an overview of the challenges that the Fall 2020 wildfire season presented to timberland managers in the Pacific Northwest. Rob Hughes, Executive Director – Texas Forestry Association, concluded the session with his summary of the extreme winter weather impacts on the forest products industry and wood supply chain in Texas.
Rob Sentz, Chief Innovation Officer at EMSI, presented on the labor challenges impacting the trucking industry. Rob identified several of these challenges, including an aging workforce and the reality that retiring workers are not being replaced with younger workers. United States demographics show that a large retirement wave continues, and there are simply not enough younger workers in the labor pool to fill not only trucking jobs but jobs in general. Trucking is the 11th largest employer in the United States and advertises the most for job openings.
Kathy Abusow, CEO of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, spoke on “Building a Diverse and Resilient Workforce.” Using interactive polling and experiences from companies across North America, Kathy discussed ways that members of the forest industry can introduce forestry careers to students, show a career progression to individuals considering the sector, and attract diverse talent to a range of positions. The presentation and discussion that followed provided new ideas and approaches that FRA members can use as they work to find new workers.
Andy Johnson’s presentation will provide an overview of the recent macroeconomic and demographic factors influencing the hardwood lumber market. Andy will also report lumber production, consumption, and export statistics and trends for several product categories of hardwood lumber.
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