More workers needed for forest industry

'In Ontario, the forestry sector is experiencing a labour force and skill shortage that is preventing the sector from realizing its full economic potential, and if we leave this unchecked the shortage could negatively impact the socio-economic standings of hundreds of communities across the province for years to come'

TORONTO - At this time there are at least 650 vacant positions waiting to be filled within the forest industry in Ontario.

The Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) has been surveying its members, and by late March, even before all responses were received, that was the number that was registering.

The OFIA and Forests Ontario have been actively pursuing strategies to recruit and develop manpower to meet the needs of the industry.

OFIA Operations and Membership Services Co-ordinator Lauren McBride commented in a telephone interview that intense efforts are being made to find solutions.

OFIA and Forests Ontario have members across Ontario including local operators Georgia Pacific, Interfor (Elk Lake), and Temagami Forest Management Corporation who have recently formed a human resources board.

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