The Mother Lode’s Greater Sierra Forestry Corps Graduates its Second Cohort at Columbia College

Columbia, CA…The Greater Sierra Forestry Corps, a WIOA Title-1 financially assisted program, is excited to announce the graduation of its second cohort, which took place on May 1st in the Dogwood Forum at Columbia College.

Over 16 weeks, Corps participants received extensive training in Wildland Fire Fuels Management (six weeks) and Foundations in Wildland Firefighting (ten weeks). This training included classroom instruction, demonstration, hands-on field application and work experience in forest conservation, basic wildland firefighting, standards for survival, engine and pump operations, backfiring methods and equipment use, chainsaw operations, map and compass use, air operations, basic hand tool sharpening and use, fire line construction, and more.

Columbia College Forestry and Natural Resources program instructor, Kevin Anderson, stated “The greatest attribute of this program is that students are immersed in various topics of the wildland fire and forestry industry sectors. Every day brings new opportunities for students to gain insight, apply knowledge, and sharpen the skills needed for a successful career of their choosing. Working and learning in this cohort model provides students with a shared mission that pushes individuals to develop in a team environment.”

“The Greater Sierra Forestry Corps is playing a critical role in our regional efforts to address the shortage of workers trained in fire fuels reduction and wildland firefighting,” shared Dr. Brandon Price, Dean of Career Technical Education at Columbia College.

Industry-recognized certificates are awarded to Corps participants upon successful completion of academic and practical field training related to Integrated Fuels Management and Wildland Fuels Management. Certification training included FEMA-ICS-100 Introduction to the Incident Command System; FEMA-ICS-200 Basic Incident Command System for Initial Response; FEMA-NIMS-ICS-700 Introduction to the National Incident Management System; FEMA-NIMS-800 National Response Framework; Basic CPR & First Aid; National Wildfire Coordinating Group Certificates (NWCG); S-130 Firefighter Training; S-190 Introduction to Wildland Behavior; L-180 Human Factors in Wildland Fire Service; S-211 Portable Pumps and Water Use; S-212 Wildland Fire Chainsaws; OSHA-10 Occupational Safety and Health
Administration; HAZMAT-8 Hazardous Materials Safety Awareness.

Special thanks are owed to the Greater Sierra Forestry Corps, Fresno Area Workforce Investment Corporation, Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board, CAL FIRE and Mother Lode Job Training, a WIOA Title-I financially assisted program. This program is 56% supported by the Employment and Training Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor as part of the awards totaling $2,500,000, and $1,973,615 or 44% financed from non-federal sources.