Glenville State University student Gabrielle Dean operates a portable sawmill.

Glenville State University receives ARC grant for hardwood industry development

GLENVILLE, WV – Glenville State University has partnered with Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in Virginia and Big Sandy Community & Technical College in Kentucky for a grant funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Power Initiative.

The federal ARC grant is providing 66% of the funding for the project for a total of $1.466 million dollars. The Appalachian Hardwood Training Initiative (AHTI) will develop educational and training opportunities for those employed in the industry’s sawmills and wood manufacturing facilities throughout the ARC region, as well as for underemployed and unemployed individuals in the region. The project will recruit and support new and incumbent workers through a comprehensive training and education program that will create pathways for the upskilling and creation of hardwood-related jobs in Virginia, Kentucky, and West Virginia over a three-year period. The AHTI will help to strengthen the hardwood industry workforce and ensure a steady supply of future applicants. The result will assist current employers as well as serve as an asset in attracting new businesses to locate to the area.

Glenville State University will be hiring a workforce coach who will work with the hardwood industry to identify training needs and then help create and facilitate that training. The grant will provide funding to reduce the cost of the training for the hardwood industry. Trainings will be as accessible and affordable as possible to new and incumbent employees, as well as those who wish to prepare for employment opportunities within the industry.

“The GSU forestry program has been serving the forest industry in West Virginia for over 50 years by educating and training students in a rigorous, 2-year, hands-on degree program. This grant will allow us to provide additional education and training to current and new employees in the hardwood industry or those seeking a career in the hardwood industry,” said Glenville State University Associate Professor of Forestry, Dr. Brian Perkins.

The grant will also provide scholarship funding for students who want to enter into a forestry program at Glenville State University.

For more information about the programs within the Department of Land Resources at Glenville State College, contact the Department of Land Resources at or (304) 462-6370.

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