Irrigation Association, Irrigation Foundation join forces

July 1, 2019 -  By

Logo: Irrigation Association

The Irrigation Association (IA) and Irrigation Foundation joined forces.

The IA will continue the work started by the Foundation to increase awareness of irrigation careers, provide targeted education resources and supply the industry with educated, highly skilled irrigation professionals.

With combined resources, the groups can continue to promote irrigation careers and ensure the stability of the workforce development programs directed by the Foundation over the past 20 years.

“Like our advocacy efforts, developing our future workforce is integral to the industry’s success,” said IA CEO Deborah Hamlin. “Bringing these initiatives within the IA ensures that continuous funding will be provided through membership dues and not be solely reliant on direct donations. The structure will remain in place for those organizations or individuals who must donate to a 501(c)3 charitable organization.”

Through industry sponsor support, the Foundation delivers programs for students and faculty. These programs will continue and will be managed by the IA and its workforce development committees:

  • Faculty academies – Providing teachers with tools to bring more irrigation content to the classroom.
  • E3 program – Developing students into the future workforce through exposure, education and experience.
  • Scholarships – Helping students pursue studies in agriculture and landscape irrigation management.
  • Excellence in Education Award – Recognizing the best faculty with irrigation curricula.
  • Irrigation Career Link – Providing information to job seekers and a vehicle for job makers to reach their intended audiences.

“The 2019 member survey results indicated that finding and keeping qualified employees is the single greatest challenge our companies will face in the next three to five years,” said Eric Santos, 2018-2019 Foundation chair and vice president of irrigation services at Brightview Landscape Services. “Joining forces with the IA will make the Foundation programs even stronger. The timing is perfect.”

For more information on the IA’s workforce development initiatives or how to support them, please contact Workforce Development Director Janine Sparrowgrove at 703-536-7080.

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