Advancing Mississippi’s Forest and Conservation Sector Workforce Through Partnerships and Strategic Education
Addressing lack of opportunity by advancing Mississippi’s forest and conservation sector workforce through partnerships and strategic education.
Why this Project Matters
The opportunity gap surrounding academic scholarships, continuing education opportunities, and career development is glaring in many Mississippi communities. This project focuses on bringing equity into the Mississippi forest and conservation sector by reaching out to new workers, military veterans, and dislocated workers. The forest sector also faces a wave of retirements that will require an influx of younger workers to maintain the state’s forest sector workforce. The project’s ultimate goal is to increase every Mississippian’s opportunity and ability to join the forest sector’s green job workforce.
How the Project Is Recruiting New Workers, Military Veterans, and Dislocated Workers Into the Forest and Conservation Sector in Mississippi
This project takes a three-pronged approach to achieving its goals. First, the Mississippi Forestry Foundation (MFF) has a designated employee participating in high school, community college, and public job fairs. Participating in job fairs is an opportunity to engage attendees about education options, green jobs, and career technical training for harvesting, forest products manufacturing, and conservation jobs. Second, MFF is collaborating with members, county extension agents, county forestry associations, Mississippi Veterans Affairs, local job centers, chambers of commerce, vocational centers, universities, community colleges and a number of other groups to assemble and share information regarding educational and training opportunities. Third, MFF will use Forest Workforce Training Institute materials and promotional items to increase interest and knowledge surrounding the forest and conservation sector while adapting materials to be Mississippi specific.
The SFI Community Grant Program is supporting this project. The Mississippi SFI Implementation Committee will also give project members access to the expertise of the SFI network. Partnerships with SFI-certified organizations are also key to this project.
How this Project Builds SFI Community Engagement
The opportunity gap in many Mississippi communities serves to isolate people. Creating more opportunities for workforce participation and career advancement will help bring people together. Project participants will also serve as positive examples to others in the community who may have become disconnected from the world of work along with all the related community connections that go with being employed.
This partnership includes educators, employment counselors, forestry professionals, government officials, the business community, and SFI‑certified companies.
Project lead: Project lead: Mississippi Forestry Foundation
The Mississippi Forestry Foundation is a nonprofit, non-stock corporation established by the Mississippi Forestry Association in 1964 to promote and carry out educational, literary, scientific, and charitable programs to better conserve, develop, and protect the forest and related natural resources of Mississippi for the best interest of current and future generations. MFF supports Project Learning Tree (an initiative of SFI), Teachers Conservation Workshops, and other Youth Forestry Programs. MFF also awards a scholarship to a student in the Mississippi State University College of Forest Resources. In addition, MFF promotes statewide forest fire protection. Learn more.
SFI has issued updated guidance regarding audit restrictions due to COVID-19. We recognize that other requirements related to implementing the SFI Standards, such as logger training, may be disrupted while travel and gatherings are restricted. SFI will issue further guidance as warranted. Questions about audits or standard requirements should be directed to Gregor Macintosh, SFI Senior Director of Standards, at Gregor.email@example.com.