Submitted by Alejandro Barbero
September 27, 2019
More than 170 high school juniors and seniors flew drones, operated heavy equipment, learned about forestry and met local employers and college reps one-on-one at the first-ever Forestry Career Day Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Northeast Florida Fairgrounds. Early in the day, Dr. Kathy Burns, Gail Cook, Lissa Braddock, Laura DiBella, David Nunes, Shelby Pyatt,Ed Carter, Josh Steiger, Jody Davis, Tiffany Wilson and Keith Wingate participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony that opened the event.
Forestry Career Day was made possible by the support and participation of over 100
volunteers from more than two dozen local businesses and organizations in the forestry industry in Nassau County. Spearheaded by Rayonier Inc., the event gave students hands-on experiences as they learned about the wide variety of forestry careers.
Forestry is a key industry for Florida. Almost half of Florida’s total land area is forest land. The forestry industry employs more than 124,000 people and contributes $25 Billion to the state’s economy every year.
Forest products play a key role in our daily lives. More than 5,000 everyday products are made from wood, including lumber and plywood as well as LCD screens, rubber tires, bath products, even diapers.
“We are excited to work with great partners to bring this event to Nassau County high school students,” said Rayonier President and CEO David L. Nunes. “and expose them to the many career paths the industry has to offer.”
Forestry offers a wide variety of careers, with career paths that involve flying drones, operating heavy equipment, creating complex mapping systems, using intricate software systems, and caring for the environment. Also, career opportunities in the industry range in educational requirements, from those that provide on-the-job training to high school grads to those that require advanced college degrees.
Partners involved in Career Day include:
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
Beard Equipment Co.
Bobcat of Jacksonville
Central Florida College
Conner & Conner Inc.
Florida Infrastructure Inc.
Florida Farm Bureau
Florida Forest Service
Florida State College at Jacksonville
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Nassau County Road and Bridge
Nassau County School District
Northeast Florida Fair Association
Rayonier Advanced Materials
University of Florida
University of Georgia
Rayonier (NYSE:RYN) is a leading timberland real estate investment trust with assets located in some of the most productive softwood timber growing regions in the United States and New Zealand. We own, lease or manage approximately 2.6 million acres of timberlands. We are More than treesTM because we recognize that our 90+ years of success in the timberland industry comes from our people, an empowering culture and the courage to constantly challenge “the way it’s always been done.” Get to know us at www.rayonier.com.