Wildfires are burning hotter, faster and larger than ever before. Improving ailing forest health and preventing catastrophic wildfire is dependent upon a robust and specially trained Forestry workforce.
Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC) is launching a new Forestry Education & Job Placement Program to prepare students for careers in this currently understaffed field. To incentivize participation and expand access to this new program, the Tahoe Fund will provide a scholarship to every student enrolled in its inaugural year.
Over the next five years, forestry management occupations are projected to have more than 200 annual job openings in the greater Sacramento region alone. Approximately 76% of these jobs will be for middle- and high-skilled occupations. California community colleges like LTCC are a big part of the plan to prepare this crucial workforce of the future.
“The Tahoe Fund’s top priority is forest health, and one of our greatest needs is getting more skilled professionals into our forests,” explained Tahoe Fund Board Member John Jones. “By providing scholarships for every student in LTCC’s new Forestry program, we are one step closer to strengthening this understaffed workforce that will make our forests healthier and help prevent wildfires.”
Beginning this fall, LTCC’s Forestry Education & Job Placement Program will teach students how to assist with forest management, planning, and implementation work. Participants can earn an Associate of Science degree along with several other certificates and industry-recognized credentials. Upon completion of the program, students will be prepared for employment with local, state, and federal natural resource agencies.
The Tahoe Fund will provide $1,000 scholarships for each and every student majoring in the new program. In order to receive this free funding, which will cover the majority of tuition, students must be registered in a minimum of five units per quarter of related coursework and maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average (GPA).
“LTCC is focused on providing students with an affordable path to college completion,” said LTCC Superintendent/President Jeff DeFranco. “These scholarships, combined with our Promise program, financial aid, and other programs, will help Forestry and Fire students graduate and move directly into employment in the field with little to no college debt.”
LTCC Forestry program graduates will be prepared for careers with Tahoe-based employers, including CAL FIRE, the USDA Forest Service, the California Tahoe Conservancy, the Tahoe Resource Conservation District, private forestry contractors, and other agencies that are part of the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team.
To learn more about the program, and see how you can apply, click here.
To support the Tahoe Fund’s forest health work, click here.