North Okanagan residents have the opportunity to learn more about a mainstay of the economy.
The Interior Logging Association holds its 56th annual conference and trade show at the Vernon Curling Club and the Best Western Vernon Lodge Friday and Saturday.
“The general public is more than welcome to attend and the school districts will have students there,” said Wayne Lintott, ILA general manager.
There will be about 92 booths set up inside the curling club Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
“You can come down and see the latest and most innovative techniques in the industry,” said Lintott of the inside displays.
It’s hoped that the exhibits will not only create awareness about the scope of the logging sector, but that there are an array of career opportunities.
“It’s a major industry around here,” said Lintott.
“All of the Tolko and Gorman contractors create a lot of employment.”
ILA members are involved in harvesting, moving wood fibre products or machinery and building and maintaining logging roads, while some are in the consulting field or supplying goods and services to the logging industry.
Forests Minister Steve Thomson will be the guest speaker at a luncheon Friday at 11:30 a.m.
“He understands our problems and concerns very well,” said Lintott.
As part of the conference, a number of educational seminars are planned.
They include Jim Girvan, who will moderate a discussion on surviving the next recession Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Best Western Vernon Lodge.
“Five veteran contractors will discuss financing of logging operations, lien act protection, the keys to attracting and retaining skilled employees, how to ensure safe operations and how to best manage their equipment to meet the demands of mills wanting logs,” said Girvan, an authority on timber supply, economic analysis, forecasting and finance.
“We hope the insight will help other contractors to remain competitive as well as setting the stage for contractors and the local mills to work more closely together to meet their mutual needs.”
Other seminars will include contractors’ responsibilities for safety, bullying and harassment in the workplace and the anatomy of an equipment rollover.
For more information, go to interiorlogging.org or call 250-503-2199.