PAUL SMITHS, NY (08/04/2017) Students and instructors at the School of Logging, a logger-training program at Paul Smith's College, received a visit from New York state Sen. Betty Little this Friday, Aug. 4.
Little, who helped make the program possible through securing a $300,000 grant from the New York State Department of Labor, donned a hardhat while taking in the sights and sounds of a live logging operation about a mile south of the main campus.
Students took breaks from saws and machinery to speak with the senator, as did several instructors, a team consisting of Paul Smith's faculty and a private logging company.
Little was joined by two others who helped set the course in motion; John Bartow, executive director of the Empire State Forest Products Association, and Greg Hart, regional director of the Workforce Development Institute. The two explained their focus is to use the intensive training program to help its graduates secure internships and jobs.
"Certainly having Greg and John involved, and their organizations, lends a lot of credibility to the program and stature," said Little. "I think that's been a great partnership."
The 18 graduates of the course will receive New York logger-training certification after four consecutive weeks that included Game of Logging levels 1 and 2, heavy equipment operation, and a variety of other forestry and safety instruction, all while being part of a real-world logging operation.
Little explained that the program came to be after a need for more loggers and wood in the mills was expressed in meetings with International Paper and Finch Paper. A partnership with Paul Smith's ensued.
Now, the School of Logging graduates have a head start in an industry that could require up to six months of training were a hire brand new, making the program a win-win for both the students and potential employers.
"Being able to come here and see this program actually in action, it is really an apprenticeship program," said Little. "These young men in that program will be able to go out and be prepared to be a logger and work."
About Paul Smith's College
At Paul Smith's College, it's about the experience. We are the only four-year institution of higher education in the Adirondacks. Our programs - in fields including hospitality, culinary arts, forestry, natural resources, entrepreneurship and the sciences - draw on industries and resources available in our own backyard while preparing students for successful careers anywhere. For more information, visit paulsmiths.edu.