Workforce Connections Announcement

FRA is pleased to announce “Workforce Connections,” a new initiative to help the Western Region membership address labor supply challenges. The initiative will employ a three-pronged strategy:

  1. PROMOTE – job opportunities in the forest products supply chain to workforce cohorts (e.g., veterans, graduates of education institutions) in which the wood fiber supply chain is not widely recognized.
  2. PURSUE – job candidates by introducing member organizations to resources (e.g., job boards, websites, and other means) by which they can advertise job openings.
  3. PARTICIPATE – in regional workforce solution-based conversations on behalf of members.

Alternate strategy names:

  1. RAISE AWARENESS – of job opportunities in the forest products supply chain to workforce cohorts (e.g., veterans, graduates of education institutions) in which the wood fiber supply chain is not widely recognized.
  2. RECRUIT – job candidates by introducing member organizations to resources (e.g., job boards, websites, and other means) by which they can advertise job openings.
  3. REPRESENT – the interests of members in regional workforce solution-based conversations.

The ultimate goal of this project is to replicate this strategy across all regions within FRA.

FRA and other forest products related organizations are well aware of the workforce challenges our collective industries face. The significant economic risks arising from labor shortages have been well documented and have been discussed during FRA conferences, in publications, and in our Woods to Mill blog. Many for-profit and non-profit organizations and government agencies are working to identify and implement solutions to this growing problem. While numerous workforce opportunities have been developed to address this problem, FRA’s members experience both time and resource constraints that make incorporating these solutions into their recruitment practices difficult. Now is the time to create a centralized contact to analyze, disseminate, and implement workforce solutions for our members to help optimize their workforce hiring efforts.

Vickie Swanton will be the Workforce Connections Manager while maintaining her responsibilities as Western Region Manager. An Advisory Committee has been established to provide guidance and support for the project. Advisory Committee members include: Deb Hawkinson/FRA, Chris Lunde/Port Blakely US, Dale Lemmons/Signature Transport, Paul Davis/Weyerhaeuser, Joel Swanton/F2M, and Shaney Neuharth/Weyerhaeuser.

FRA welcomes questions and ideas about Workforce Connections. If you have suggestions or successful experiences with workforce development initiatives within your company or area that would assist us with this endeavor, please contact Vickie ([email protected] or 906.282.6752).