Human resources management and training needs of Pennsylvania lumber producers

Judd Harrison Michael, Reiner M. Leschinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Reduced profitability and changes in workforce characteristics currently characterize the U.S. hardwood lumber industry. Because a producer's employees have a great impact on organizational outcomes, both academics and managers should consider means for increasing the industry's utilization of its human resources. This paper attempts to increase our understanding of this topic by investigating lumber producers' training needs and the relationship between human resources practices and important outcomes. Results from a survey of Pennsylvania hardwood lumber producers indicate that training is needed at all levels of the responding organizations, and that topics related to log/lumber grading and motivating employees would be of most interest. Soft skills such as leadership were perceived as more important to the respondents' success than wood science or process control. Referrals from current employees was the method most often used to find new production employees, and significant differences were found in the producers' perceived abilities to attract and retain employees based on the methods used to find new employees. Suggestions for managers include tactics to attract and retain production employees, and reasons to provide supervisors with training to help them manage people as well as processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-32
Number of pages5
JournalForest Products Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • General Materials Science
  • Plant Science


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