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Public Perceptions of the Logging Profession in Maine and Implications for Logger Recruitment

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Despite the importance of the forest products industry to Maine's economy, there have been persistent concerns about a shortage of qualified woodsworkers. Several studies have cited the low occupational prestige associated with the logging profession as central to the problems of recruiting new loggers and logging business owners. A phone survey was used to clarify the Maine public's perceptions of logging and the logging profession. Results were compared with perspectives from loggers in the state who were surveyed by mail the previous year. Although most Maine citizens surveyed agreed that logging was a skilled profession and acknowledged its importance to the state's economy, for example, analyses revealed stark gender differences among the state's public in their acceptance of logging as a profession. Respondent education and place of residence also helped to explain some responses, such as whether a survey participant would encourage a son or daughter to pursue logging as a career. At the same time, less than one-quarter of Maine loggers surveyed would recommend logging as a career to a son or daughter. Results may have implications for the recruitment of new workers into the logging workforce.

Keywords: familial attachment; logging workforce; occupational prestige

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-09-01

More about this publication?
  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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