WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Angus King (I-Maine) and U.S. Representatives Jared Golden (D-Maine) and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-Pa.) reintroduced the Future Logging Careers Act for the 117 th Congress. This legislation would allow teenage members of logging families to gain experience in the logging trade under parental supervision so that they may carry on the family business.
Additional cosponsors of the legislation include Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and John Cornyn (R-Texas).
“One of the surest ways to learn a family trade is under the direction and supervision of a parent. However, young men and women in logging families are denied the opportunity to work and learn the timber trade until they are legal adults,” said Senator Risch. “The Future Logging Careers Act will extend existing exemptions for the agriculture industry to families who own and operate timber companies so these young loggers can gain the knowledge and experience needed to carry on the family trade.”
“Maine’s logging industry is part of the foundation of our state, passed down from generation to generation as a way to support rural Maine families and anchor the region’s economy,” said Senator King. “Many young people across our state are planning to enter this industry, and we should give them the opportunity to begin their training early in a safe, managed way. This legislation would allow young people to get hands-on experience in the logging field alongside their parents or grandparents, helping to train the next generation of loggers. This is a bill that supports Maine families, strengthens this fundamental Maine industry, and enhances the long-term skills of Maine’s forest products workforce.”
“Many Maine logging operations are small, family businesses that had a very tough year in 2020,” said Congressman Golden. “If we can help them carry on these important small businesses and provide good jobs in rural Maine at the same time, that’s good policy. Our bipartisan bill will allow young Mainers to start their careers as loggers earlier — as long as they’re under the supervision of family members — providing logging businesses with needed labor and young Mainers with a good start for a career in the woods.”
“I have the great privilege of representing numerous family-owned logging businesses, that operate on private lands, state forests and in Pennsylvania’s only National Forest, the Allegheny. For years, younger people have had the opportunity to learn the family agri-business through the comfort and guidance of their family members,” said Congressman GT Thompson. “This commonsense legislation brings the logging industry up to the same standard as other agri-businesses by allowing the next generation the ability to learn the trade and obtain vital knowledge. I am proud to support this bill.”
Bill text can be found here.
The Future Logging Careers Act would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 so that 16 and 17-year-olds would be allowed to work in mechanized logging operations under parental supervision.
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