Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

Twenty-Seven Green Industry Associations Join Forces to Create Careers Web Site

Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

Twenty-Seven Green Industry Associations Join Forces to Create Careers Web Site

Article excerpt

Twenty-seven associations from throughout the country recently united to develop a national green industry careers Web site, designed to spark interest in the variety of positions that the green industry offers--from landscape design to horticultural production.

Initiated by the Minnesota Nursery & Landscape Association (MNLA) and the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), the site is anticipated to launch in the summer of 2008. The founding partners were joined by 25 state associations and two national association sponsors, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) and the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA), whose involvement will enable the site to be truly comprehensive and world class.

"MNLA volunteered to take a leadership role in this project because our members have identified workforce development as one of the primary challenges the green industry faces in the decades to come," said Bob Fitch, executive director of MNLA. "To thrive in the future, we need to do a better job of selling our story of the great opportunities there are to enhance the environment and our country's quality of life by choosing a career in the green industry."

Most of the industry's workforce development efforts to date have focused on securing entry-level workers via reforms to the immigration system. However, the needs are just as dire for future industry leaders, future business owners, and trained supervisory staff in all segments from horticultural production to landscape design, construction and services.

High school students are the new Web site's target market, but the site will also contain residual information for parents, teachers and guidance counselors. Research, including focus groups and surveys, is currently being conducted to obtain a Web site name that will resonate with these audiences. Once completed, the site will include:

* A description of green industry segments including nursery production, greenhouse production, garden center, landscape design, landscape architecture, landscape installation, landscape management, professional gardening services, irrigation, hardscapes, and arborists/tree care services. …

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