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Students learn more about forestry jobs

District Ranger Tim Mersmann brought an on-campus USDA Forest Service recruiting event to the campus of LBW Community College Thursday, to try and recruit students to join the forest service.

“I brought this to the college to let local forest technician students know that we are looking for jobs,” Mersmann, who manages the Conecuh National Forest, said. “We like to employ local employees. We wanted to bring this here because around the country people are hiring in the forest service,” Mersmann said. “And so even if we can’t hire them here, at least they will have the knowledge about how to apply and get hired somewhere else.”

Right now, there are 20 employees working in the Conecuh National Forest and five were in the forestry program at LBW.

“We are trying to support Mark Hainds,” Mersmann said. “He has been doing a great job, and we are trying to make this program successful by having these types of workshops.”

Hainds is a local researcher and forestry instructor at LBW.

In the workshop, attendees were able to listen to the USA Job Profile’s national webinar, which taught them how to present a resume and gave information about a fire apprentice program.

LBW sophomore Tyler Sullivan is looking to work in the field.  Sullivan is a native of Ariton, Ala., and said that he came to Andalusia only to study forestry at LBW.

“My cousin works for the forestry commission so that really got me interested in forestry,” Sullivan said. “My dad raised me on hunting and fishing so I was always outdoors. I don’t really like traditional school, and I’m not much of a welder so I decided to go this route.”

Sullivan is interested in the firefighting apprenticeship because he is a volunteer fireman in Marley Mill, Ala.

“I’m really interested in firefighting,” Sullivan said. “And I wouldn’t be opposed to moving out west to Utah or Wisconsin to become a hotshot.”

Sullivan said that the recruiting event was very helpful because he doesn’t know what to expect when applying for jobs.

“I honestly don’t know what to expect,” Sullivan said. “But this has been very helpful.”

Sullivan’s overall goal is to work for the Alabama Forest Commission.

“I decided to come to college to have an edge for my career,” Sullivan said. “And because I had a scholarship, but I am excited to be here.”