The Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), an outdoor recreation coalition, has announced the establishment of the Outdoor Workforce Hub.
This initiative was developed in partnership with The VF Foundation, the arm of VF Corporation, one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear, and accessories companies.
This monumental launch represents the culmination of a year’s worth of rigorous consultation and collaboration with ORR members, key leaders within the outdoor industry, and an array of community partners.
This confluence of perspectives was geared towards uncovering and capitalizing on the untapped opportunities inherent in the $862 billion outdoor recreation economy. Moreover, it aims to generate benefits for the 4.5 million dedicated professionals who make outdoor connections a reality for people across the globe.
Housed on ORR’s revamped website, the Outdoor Workforce Hub is a trove of innovative tools designed to assist a broad array of individuals.
Employers, educators, current industry workers, and aspirants seeking to step into the outdoor recreation industry will find valuable resources at their fingertips.
Equally, those looking to broaden their career horizons within this dynamic sector will discover a wealth of information to guide their trajectory.
The Hub offers an impressive portfolio of resources, including a pioneering Roadmap for a 21st Century Outdoor Workforce, and an exclusive map detailing nearly 250 higher education, trade, and training programs tailored for outdoor careers.
This robust platform also features a detailed overview of outdoor recreation roles, and cutting-edge research to aid prospective talent, industry leaders, educators, and policymakers in comprehending the expanse and intricacies of outdoor careers.
In addition, the hub includes a four-part Outdoor Workforce Expert series, an ORR Career Path Module featuring actual professionals across the industry, invaluable materials for career development offices, and a host of potent links to other resources critical for thriving outdoor professionals.
Jessica Wahl Turner, president of ORR, conveyed heartfelt gratitude to The VF Foundation and all the members and partners who played pivotal roles in the realization of this project.
“From ensuring that the outdoor workforce is diverse and inclusive, to identifying needs like access to affordable housing, creating training programs to fill skills gaps, and combating myths and stigmas about careers in the industry, ORR is proud to be leading the way, and seeking collaborative solutions to our shared challenges. More Americans than ever are discovering a passion for recreating outside – it is our job to make sure there are opportunities to turn those passions into careers that support workers and their families for a lifetime.”
This initiative holds the promise to address key challenges confronting the outdoor workforce.
It’s expected to play a significant role in promoting diversity and inclusion, identifying housing affordability issues, bridging skills gaps through innovative training programs, and debunking misconceptions about careers in the outdoor industry.
By empowering the workforce, the heart of the outdoor recreation industry, the Outdoor Workforce Hub is poised to unlock a myriad of opportunities for individuals seeking satisfying careers in the outdoor industry.
The journey to the creation of the Outdoor Workforce Hub involved several months of interviews and meetings with diverse stakeholders, including an important gathering in Bend, Oregon, co-hosted with Oregon State University.
These strategic sessions brought together outdoor industry leaders to deliberate on the successes, challenges, and future prospects of the industry’s workforce.
A key outcome of these discussions was the development of a Roadmap for a 21st Century Outdoor Workforce, identifying four core priorities and strategies for a flourishing outdoor workforce. This roadmap will now be housed on the Outdoor Workforce Hub, serving as an invaluable resource for organizations and individuals in the industry.
In the months ahead, the ORR plans to roll out a new PSA on outdoor careers to showcase the value of working in the outdoor industry to potential talent across the United States, further adding momentum to this exciting new chapter in outdoor recreation.
The launch of the Outdoor Workforce Hub marks a significant stride towards a bright, sustainable future for the outdoor recreation industry and the millions of professionals that it supports.