Shasta College Receives $3.3M To Expand Forest Health Programs – Red Bluff Daily News

REDDING – Shasta College will receive $3.3 million in a four-year statewide forestry careers partnership to expand forestry and fire safety education programs throughout Northern California.

The Foundation for California Community Colleges is the lead agency for the total $21.5 million grant awarded by the Economic Development Administration of the Department of Commerce. The foundation’s proposal, California Resilient Careers in Forestry, will coordinate and expand forestry and fire safety training programs in northeastern California’s Sierra Nevada and Cascade regions. Shasta College is one of eight regional hub partners working with the foundation to deliver this scholarship to the Shasta-Trinity-Tehama region.

Pictured is a Shasta College First Seat Tour in 2019. (Contributed photo Peter Griggs, Shasta College)

Shasta College will use the grant from this grant to expand existing programs in logging, truck driving and other forest health-related programs. In addition, the grant will help provide additional student support staff, expand the infrastructure needed for the logging training program, and improve access for students entering the forest sector, among other things.

“This award is really about expanding and expanding our existing programs as a result of government investment in the development of our HELO certification program through Cal Fire’s Forest Health program,” said Superintendent and President Joe Wyse. “We are so grateful for the advice, resources and expertise of our industry partners who have helped position Shasta College as a leader in forest health education, training and support for this important industry.”

The announcement of the award prompted industry partners to comment on the importance of this award and the successful industry partnership with Shasta College.

“Sierra Pacific Industries is proud to support the Statewide Resilient Careers in Forestry Initiative,” said Andrea Howell, Corporate Affairs Director. “With the risk of catastrophic wildfires at an all-time high, it is imperative to have a skilled workforce doing the critical work on the ground to improve the resilience of California’s forests. This regional training program is critical to building the workforce that is urgently needed to protect the benefits of healthy, resilient forests: habitat for wildlife, clean air and water, recreation, sustainable forest products, and strong rural economies and communities.”

Delbert Gannon, owner of Creekside Logging and past president of the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference, said the programs will create jobs in the area.

“I have been personally involved with the College Advisory Committees throughout the design, development, and implementation of Shasta College’s HELO, CRAFT, and First Seat programs,” Gannon said. “Shasta College’s programs are designed to build workforce capacity in our industry and create livable paid employment opportunities for our region.”

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