PLANET AEF promotes landscape industry careers

July 7, 2014 -  By

PLANET AEF logoThe Professional Landcare Network Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF) expanded its mission statement and joined a public awareness campaign to attract people into a career in the landscape and lawn care industry.

As part of the new mission, “to attract, inspire, and support the education and advancement of landscape professionals who create and manage healthy green spaces for the benefit of society,” PLANET AEF will engage in research to better understand the employment needs of the landscape industry.

Over the past year, the PLANET AEF board of directors conducted a planning process that led, in April, to the adoption of a new mission, vision and plan for the organization.

Through its partnership with faculty and with landscape industry companies, the foundation became aware of the need to attract outside students. Enrollment in college horticulture and landscape programs has been on the decline, and, at the same time, landscape industry companies continue to struggle to hire enough well-educated employees.

“There has been a growing concern, for a number of years, on the part of college faculty and company recruiters that there is a chronic shortage of qualified staff in the landscape industry,” said Tom Fochtman, PLANET AEF president. “We need to tackle this problem now if we want to ensure a bright future for our industry.”

For more than a decade, PLANET AEF has provided scholarships to students pursuing education to prepare them for a career in the landscape industry. To date, the foundation has awarded $811,400 in scholarships to 786 students, with a fund balance of $3.8 million.

LM Staff

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