Throwback Thursday: May 2007


May-2007The Green Industry is by no means mum on its efforts to attract younger generations to the business, especially in regard to convincing them there is, in fact, rewarding career opportunities here.

Look no further than the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) Student Career Days (SCD) that was held last month at Colorado State University. Then there’s that National Landscape Architecture Month is being celebrated in April and, fittingly, carries the theme “Career Discovery.”

The cover story from the May 2007 issue of Landscape Management provided that the future leaders were starting to take the bait. Titled “Training tomorrow’s leaders” by Steven Cohan, Ph.D., University of Maryland, the story spotlights a landscape career pathway program established in Maryland’s Montgomery County Public Schools.

Collaborating with local landscape businesses, the programs offered high school students real-world training in landscape and related businesses. It offers three curricula to choose from—landscape design, Green Industry management and environmental horticulture—that also could be applied as college credit toward a degree in landscape technology at Montgomery College.

Ed Ball, program coordinator, said the program showed promise of graduating 1,000 students in 2007.

The more important part to of this story to me, though, was nestled in a sidebar article titled, “Recruiting young talent: Student perspective.” It provides some insight on what that next generation is most concerned about in terms of having a career in the Green Industry

Mike Seuffert, then-associate editor of LM, tracked down three students at SCD, held at Michigan State University that year, for answers:

“It helps when a company is looking for a specific position and not just trying to hire any kid they can get their hands on. The companies that impress me are the ones that say, ‘Where do you want to be in our company?’ and then work with me to show how I can get there.”— John Young, State University of New York (SUNY)

“First is location, a company from some part of the country that appeals to me, like northern California or northwest Colorado. Second, I’m looking for a company that shares the same morals and values that I hold. It’s a mutual relationship. I expect to be given responsibility and the ability to make decisions for customers right on the spot.”—Patrick Smith, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

“I think the best companies are the ones that go out of the way to train you and do what they can to help make you fit in. A company that wants to help you grow looks better than one that isn’t willing to put in the work.”—Tim Fitzgerald, SUNY

Fitzgerald added with a grin, “It also helps if they pay you a lot of money.”

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