The Province's forest industry provides nearly 5,500 direct and indirect jobs. The value of shipments from this industry has been in decline due to the downturn in the industry and in 2009 was $250 million. This becomes even more important by virtue of the contribution to rural economy of the Province
From an industry development perspective, the Industry Services Section provides technical advisory services as well as interagency liaison to individuals and companies in support of expanding socioeconomic returns from the Province's forest resource.
- promotion of primary production from underutilized portions of the resource such as the Labrador softwood resource and hardwoods on the Island;
- promotion of secondary and value-added production both from current primary products and from new operations based mostly in birch;
- promotion of improved fibre and processing efficiency in sawing facilities through applying sophisticated analytical procedures;
- market expansion through market reconnaissance and opportunity development;
- ensuring market access through regional and national action in accessing barriers to trade such as the CAN/US Softwood Lumber Dispute and subsequent agreement;
- maintaining historical and on-going statistics on forest industry production and value;
- administration of the Provincial Timber Scaling (measurement) program including new procedures development in accordance with nationally (Canadian Standards Association) recognized standards;
- promotion of an enhanced image of the industry as a whole through support for and liaison with industry associations such as the Newfoundland and Labrador Lumber Producers Association; and
- overall non-specific support for technology and information transfer through the provision of library services; through skilled professional and technical staff in liaison with educational institutions, manufacturers associations and equipment manufacturers nationally and internationally; and through participation in federal and provincial government policy development initiatives.