MEDWAY, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Could a new mechanized logging program that emphasizes modern technology help save the logging industry in Northern Maine?
The program's first class of students seems to think so.
"The technology is definitely going to help and it's going to advance," student, Elijah Hakes, said.
Hakes is a Millinocket native enrolled in the program. He has waited two years for it to begin.
"My ultimate goal is to learn as much as I can."
The Mechanized Logging Operations program was created by three Maine community colleges in conjunction with Professional Logging Contractors of Maine. Its run out of Northern Maine Community College, and students are trained in Medway in the middle of the woods.
The experts say the modern technology the program uses is the wave of the future. They are more complex than ever before and cut costs while increasing production.
When Hakes and his classmates graduate from the program at the end of this summer, they will have the skills needed to operate the newer machines. They will also be on their way to starting a career as a logging equipment operator.
Time will tell if programs like this -- the only one of its kind in the Northeast -- will help save an industry that many believe is losing steam.
© 2017 WLBZ-TV