To address dealers’ concerns about the nationwide need for educated landscape professionals and service technicians in the green industry, Husqvarna is working with Hocking College to develop a landscape management curriculum. The company will also provide financial support and scholarships for the program, which offers education in both project management and fleet management/service.
According to John Marchionda, spokesman for Husqvarna, this partnership enables the company to help address the shortage of qualified small engine repair and maintenance technicians for retailers and large end users in the green industry. Husqvarna will provide materials and input for the curriculum, as well as financial support, scholarships and industry promotions to help with student recruitment.
To kick off the program, Husqvarna will coordinate a “train the trainer” event at Hocking College July 24-25. Created for vocational instructors, the “train the trainer” program provides both classroom and hands-on training for small engine service. Participants will receive an instructor’s guide and a Husqvarna 455 Rancher chain saw for teardown demonstrations.
J.R. Blackburn, director of marketing and advancement at Hocking College, says the new landscape management curriculum will bring in students from around the nation. “We’re pleased to be working with Husqvarna, the world’s largest producer of lawn care equipment, to offer an outstanding program on a national level,” Blackburn says.
The new degree program, with an 18-month accelerated curriculum, begins this fall and is open to students for registration now.
Hocking College, a two-year technical college in Nelsonville, Ohio, with an enrollment of about 5,500 students, is recognized for its hands-on approach to instruction with degree and certificate programs in areas such as business, IT, culinary arts, hospitality, broadcasting and industrial technology.
David Zerfoss, president of Husqvarna North America, says the green industry faces a shortage of service technicians and educated landscape professionals. “Our new, stronger partnership with Hocking College is just part of our concerted efforts to provide the industry with a quality, knowledgeable and formally educated workforce,” Zerfoss says.
To get involved, landscape companies can support a student scholarship or provide a student internship opportunity by contacting J.R. Blackburn at (740) 753-7045.