AUGUSTA – A statewide forest products coalition announced a summit on the future of Maine’s Forest Bioeconomy. Maine’s Forest Opportunity Roadmap, or FOR/Maine, set the date of the summit for Friday, April 9. The half-day virtual summit will feature keynotes, panelists, and presentations on a variety of Forest Products Industry-related topics, including workforce development, woodland owner outreach and engagement, strategic investment attraction and communicating the opportunity in Maine’s forests.
The summit comes on the heels of a survey released by FOR/Maine showing optimism for the future of Maine’s Forest Products Industry over the next decade. The survey reflects that most Mainers feel good about the industry in general, and would recommend that Maine students consider a career in a forest-related occupation.
“Maine’s forest economy represents billions of dollars annually, with a plan for significant growth,” said Steve Schley about the survey. Schley is chair of the FOR/Maine steering committee. “The bioeconomy is strong in Maine, and is rich with tremendous career opportunities for people in our state. Forestry offers a vast range of working experience ranging from technology and innovation to trucking and hauling. This industry is solid and is well-positioned to remain so for years to come.”
The FOR/Maine Summit 2021 will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon on April 9. The summit is being presented virtually, with all elements and presentations available online in real time. The keynote speaker and panelists will be announced in the coming weeks. There is no cost to attend the summit, although registration is required at www.formaine.org/for-me-summit-2021/.
FOR/Maine is a unique cross-sector collaboration between industry, communities, government, education, and non-profits, with a focus on Maine’s role in the global forest economy. The coalition was created with support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
FOR/Maine, released an action plan in September of 2018 with a goal of creating actionable steps to grow Maine’s forest-based economy. The plan included a combination of transportation, community outreach, workforce development, and strategic investment attraction.
More details on the FOR/Maine initiative can be found at www.formaine.org.