ITA has announced the formation of the Forestry Sector Advisory Group, which is tasked with the essential role of advising government and ITA on industry-specific issues that are key to skills training.

The Council of Forest Industries (COFI) led the consultation and recruitment of members of the Sector Advisory Group. This group includes forestry professionals who have a history of championing and employing tradespeople, along with representation from small-, medium- and large-sized organizations from across key forestry sectors including forest management, harvesting, silviculture, wood product manufacturing, and pulp and paper manufacturing. Aboriginal community members are also advisory members of the group.

Despite over a decade of uncertainty and challenges, the BC forest industry has been and will continue to be a key driver of the economy, currently contributing $12 billion annually to provincial GDP. Direct employment in the sector is growing and in 2013 stood at 58,200 employees, with manufacturers of primary and secondary wood products accounting for the largest share of industry workers (49 per cent). It is also important to note the significant level of indirect employment generated by this industry, accounting for over 115,000 jobs in 2013.

The 9 members of the Manufacturing Forestry Advisory Group include: 

  1. M. W. Cass, Vice President Human Resources, Western Forest Products
  2. Christina Burke, Manager Human Resources, Interfor
  3. John Betts, Executive Director, Western Silviculture Contractors Association
  4. Wayne Lintott, General Manager, Interior Logging Association
  5. Anne Mauch, Director of Regulatory Issues, Council of Forest Industries
  6. Don Banasky, Chair, Truck Loggers Association
  7. Tony Mogus, Dunkley Lumber
  8. Jeff Roos, IRFLA
  9. Kerris Hougardy, Catalyst Paper
  10. Scot Durward, Tolko
  11. Keith Atkinson, First Nations Forestry Council
  12. Irene Hensel, Paper Excellence
  13. Bob Matters, United Steelworkers Union