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FNR Participates in National Wood Is Best Awareness Campaign

According to the governor’s Forest Products Week proclamation, Indiana’s hardwood industry has anDr. Eva Haviarova and a graduate student look over a bench made of heat-treated woods annual economic impact of over $10 billion, and the hardwoods industry supports 70,000 jobs in the state. Indiana ranks first nationally in the production of wood office furniture and hardwood veneer, and second nationally in wood kitchen cabinets and countertop and manufactured homes. Overall, Indiana ranks fourth in the United States in hardwood industry production.

As a whole, the forest products industry in the U.S. employs 950,000 people with a payroll of $50 billion annually, but the lack of skilled hardwood employees is the No. 1 impediment to industry success and growth. The number of job openings in wood products manufacturing exceeds the number of qualified applicants by a factor of between 3:1 and 10:1. Hardwood industry employees require specialized training to produce lumber and various hardwood products, and to maintain sustainable productivity of forest resources. At the same time, demand for wood products is growing due to their sustainable and carbon-storing nature.

Purdue is among 10 universities that are part of a comprehensive communications campaign designed toA U.S. map showing the 10 universities who collaborated on the Wood-Based Degree Program campaign build awareness of wood-based degree programs and the careers they make possible. Learn more about the campaign at the Wood is Best website.

At Purdue, Sustainable Biomaterials is offered as a concentration within the forestry undergraduate major (Forestry-Sustainable Biomaterials). Minors are also offered in furniture design and wood products manufacturing technology.

A video produced as part of the campaign features Dr. Eva Haviarova, professor of wood products engineering and furniture strength design, and Charlie Warner, a 2021 forestry alumnus and current Purdue Wood Research Lab technician. The video also includes footage of several other students affiliated with the Purdue Wood Research Lab.

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