Event Title

Strengthening Education and Employment Opportunities for Under­represented Students in a College of Forestry and Natural Resources

Location

Poster Session - Latham Ballroom A/B

Event Website

http://www.cpe.vt.edu/cuenr/index.html

Start Date

26-3-2010 1:00 PM

End Date

26-3-2010 1:05 PM

Description

In Oregon there are more than 63,000 people employed in the forest sector (2008). The industry continues to be the second largest contributor to Oregon’s economy. As with other regions of the world with productive forests, the expected increase in global demand for timber and non‐timber forest products bode well for creating many employment opportunities for a forestry work force for years to come. Although the employment opportunities appear to be there, these opportunities are not accessed equitably by a diversifying Oregon population. Latinos, for example, represent 11% or the Oregon population, are the majority in the entry level, unskilled jobs in the forest sector, but hold very few of the professional forestry and natural resource management jobs in the state. Members other ethnic minority groups in the state experience this same discrepancy but represent much smaller numbers. Juan Quintana Mendoza of Willamette Valley Reforestation, Inc., a Molalla, Oregon field forestry company, says "There’s a huge mobile workforce in the Pacific Northwest that basically has been ignored, a great number being people of color." Through Juan's professional experience he's seen that most entry‐level, seasonal forestry work is now done by Latinos, whether it’s slash piling, slash burning, tree planting, thinning, or erosion control. The Oregon State University College of Forestry faculty recognizes that our degree programs have a dearth of under‐represented students seeking a career track in forestry and natural resources. We want to help change this inequity in our forest sector workforce. SEEDS (Strengthening Education and Employment for Diverse Students) is a partnership‐based program we've recently initiated to help attract and retain diversity students to our educational programs in the College of Forestry, and to help pave their way into the permanent, career‐oriented workforce. SEEDS will also serve as a gateway to lead the student toward career employment in forestry and natural resources. To accomplish do this, the SEEDS program will: * partner with other OSU diversity student support programs to both attract diversity students to OSU, and then attract college‐bound diversity students into our College; * seek and sign public and private forestry institutions as partners for funding, summer internships, and permanent employment opportunities; * match SEEDS students with faculty and student mentors; * provide financial assistance in the form of scholarships; * create a student group for peer‐to‐peer networking and support; * provide special professional career development opportunties for them while they’re at OSU. Through the SEEDS program, OSU College of Forestry hopes such support will correct some of the professional (and institutional) inequities we see, and over the long term provide the College and the forest sector with the role models required to make a diverse professional community a long‐ term and stable phenomenon.

Comments

Citation: Zahler, D.A., E.C. Jensen. 2010. Strengthening education and employment opportunities for underrepresented students in a college of forestry and natural resources. UENR Biennial Conference, Poster Session, Paper Number 1. http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/Sessions/Poster/1/.

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Mar 26th, 1:00 PM Mar 26th, 1:05 PM

Strengthening Education and Employment Opportunities for Under­represented Students in a College of Forestry and Natural Resources

Poster Session - Latham Ballroom A/B

In Oregon there are more than 63,000 people employed in the forest sector (2008). The industry continues to be the second largest contributor to Oregon’s economy. As with other regions of the world with productive forests, the expected increase in global demand for timber and non‐timber forest products bode well for creating many employment opportunities for a forestry work force for years to come. Although the employment opportunities appear to be there, these opportunities are not accessed equitably by a diversifying Oregon population. Latinos, for example, represent 11% or the Oregon population, are the majority in the entry level, unskilled jobs in the forest sector, but hold very few of the professional forestry and natural resource management jobs in the state. Members other ethnic minority groups in the state experience this same discrepancy but represent much smaller numbers. Juan Quintana Mendoza of Willamette Valley Reforestation, Inc., a Molalla, Oregon field forestry company, says "There’s a huge mobile workforce in the Pacific Northwest that basically has been ignored, a great number being people of color." Through Juan's professional experience he's seen that most entry‐level, seasonal forestry work is now done by Latinos, whether it’s slash piling, slash burning, tree planting, thinning, or erosion control. The Oregon State University College of Forestry faculty recognizes that our degree programs have a dearth of under‐represented students seeking a career track in forestry and natural resources. We want to help change this inequity in our forest sector workforce. SEEDS (Strengthening Education and Employment for Diverse Students) is a partnership‐based program we've recently initiated to help attract and retain diversity students to our educational programs in the College of Forestry, and to help pave their way into the permanent, career‐oriented workforce. SEEDS will also serve as a gateway to lead the student toward career employment in forestry and natural resources. To accomplish do this, the SEEDS program will: * partner with other OSU diversity student support programs to both attract diversity students to OSU, and then attract college‐bound diversity students into our College; * seek and sign public and private forestry institutions as partners for funding, summer internships, and permanent employment opportunities; * match SEEDS students with faculty and student mentors; * provide financial assistance in the form of scholarships; * create a student group for peer‐to‐peer networking and support; * provide special professional career development opportunties for them while they’re at OSU. Through the SEEDS program, OSU College of Forestry hopes such support will correct some of the professional (and institutional) inequities we see, and over the long term provide the College and the forest sector with the role models required to make a diverse professional community a long‐ term and stable phenomenon.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cuenr/Sessions/Poster/1