"We are proud of these high-performing students who are receiving full scholarships for two years of study at these institutions," said LBWCC President Dr. Herb Riedel.
The program was one of several evaluated for viability, a necessary action by the College resulting from several consecutive years of state budget cuts, said LBWCC President Dr. Herb Riedel.
"After seven years of continuous budget cuts from the state, we reached a point where we had to evaluate all our programs," he
kept the forestry program even as other similar programs in Alabama and other areas in the south closed.
Although it is the only program in the state and one of the few in the southeast, it struggled the past several years with low enrollment, low completion rates, and low job placement rates."
forest technology program started 34 years ago, the timber industry was booming, he
Through input from the Covington County Forestry Committee, however
better understands the cyclical nature of forestry-related industry.
"After a meeting with the Covington County Forestry Committee
, chaired by Paul Langford, the college assessed the potential for the program," he
"We learned from the committee that due to the cyclical nature of forestry-related industry and recent investments in the region, we expect employment opportunities to pick up.
We also discussed the benefit of student housing as a way of helping to accommodate students from other parts of the state or out-of-state who wish to take part in the program."
said the group of 13 he
met with expressed support for the program in a variety of ways, such as sharing booth space during the Covington Sportsman's Expo in late June, providing student recruitment assistance, and offering guidance for job placement of program graduates.
"Based on this new information and the support shown for the program by industry leaders, the College decided to continue the program," he