The PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation is expanding its mission.
In addition to providing scholarships, PLANET AEF will launch a public awareness campaign to attract more people into a career in the landscaping industry.
For more than a decade, the organization has provided scholarships to students pursuing education to prepare them for a career in the industry.
To date, the Foundation has awarded $811,400 in scholarships to 786 students, with a fund balance of $3.8 million.
However, the Foundation wanted to do more than just provide scholarships to students already pursuing a career in the industry. It wanted to attract promising students as well.
Enrollment in college horticulture and landscape programs has been on the decline, and landscape companies are continuing the struggle of hiring well-educated employees.
The organization’s board of directors went through a strategic planning process that led to the adoption of a new mission, vision and strategic plan for the group.
In order to fulfill its 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. It will also develop a program to raise awareness about the benefits of a professional career in the industry.