College Awarded More Than $15,000 in Grants to Support Logging Initiative
Forestry consultant Harrell Turner hired by college to lead logging initiative
(Franklin, VA) — On Friday, June 7, the Southeast Virginia Logging Capacity Task Force will sponsor a Logging Expo from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Regional Workforce Development Center, 100 North College Drive, in Franklin. The event will feature presentations and exhibits.
The expo is being held to bring more attention to the renewed growth and resurgence of the logging industry in the western Hampton Roads region. Paul D. Camp Community College Regional is working in partnership with logging agencies to develop training programs as part of the effort to meet a growing demand in the logging industry.
Harrell Turner has been hired by the College’s Workforce Development Center to lead the logging industry initiatives. Turner is owner of CHT Forestry LLC, and also serves as a Forestry Consultant. He is a former Area Team Leader at International Paper and also formerly served as a Forestry Manager for Union Camp Corporation/International Paper, Inc.
“We are excited about the upcoming event. It’s the first of its kind and we’re thrilled with the regional cooperation and community enthusiasm about the event,” said Turner.
Logging Industry Resurrection & Taskforce
The rise in logging opportunities are being attributed to the repurposing of International Paper’s Franklin mill to produce fluff pulp, two wood pellet plants erected by Enviva and the conversion of two plants from coal to wood burning by Dominion Power.
In 2012, the Virginia Community College System’s Institute of Excellence awarded the College $12,000 to support the logging and trucking initiative. Also in 2012, International Paper awarded the College $5,000 to partner with the task force to establish a regional Logging Resource Center.
Another milestone in the logging industry resurrection occurred in September 2012 with the establishment of a new logging industry taskforce. The task force was formed in September 2012 to assess needs in the region and to develop these training programs. In addition to Turner, other members of the task force are:
- Scott Barrett of the Sharp Logger Program at Virginia Tech
- Randy Betz, Vice President of Workforce Development
- Neil Clark of Virginia Cooperative Extension, Southampton County Office
- Randy Fields and Ed Sontag of Enviva
- Shannon Fowler and Paul Howe of the Virginia Forestry Association
- Carl E. Garrison, State Forester with the Virginia Department of Forestry
- Terry Godwin of GFR Forestry Consultants & Timberland Sales
- Amanda Jarrett of Franklin Southampton Economic Development
- Jim Mooney of the Virginia Loggers Association
- William Snyder of IP Franklin Fiber Supply; and Marc St. John of RockTenn
Turner said, “Through the Workforce Development Center and the expertise of the taskforce, we will provide resources, seminars and training that will cover topics important to the field. We will market the resources to logging and trucking companies, as well as start-up businesses looking to learn more about the industry.
Randy Betz, Vice President of Workforce Development, added, “Logging and trucking companies need qualified loggers with high skill sets to support the increased demand for trees from our local woodlands and truck drivers to support various roles in this field. The College and the Taskforce can certainly assist in these areas.”
For more information about the Expo, call the Workforce Initiative Logging Taskforce Office at 757.569.6050.