Future landscape industry leaders head to Brigham Young University

Students work on building a bench during the wood construction competition at NCLC 2016. Photo: Jill OdomStudents work on building a bench during the wood construction competition at NCLC 2016.
Photo: Jill Odom

Approximately 800 horticulture and landscape students will begin flocking to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, tomorrow for the 41st National Collegiate Landscape Competition.

The event is held from March 15-18 and is produced by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP). It was formally dubbed “Student Career Days.”

NCLC will provide an opportunity for students from 60 colleges and universities to compete in 29 team and individual challenges. They will put their skills to the test in skid steer operation precision trials, small engine repair, arboriculture techniques, plant identification assessments and much more.

“To say that landscape professionals are in demand is an understatement,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NALP. “Each year the landscape industry must fill 300,000 jobs, meaning there is great promise and opportunity on the table for individuals with the right education and training.”

BYU-Provo took home fifth place in last year’s competition. Photo: BYUBYU-Provo took home fifth place in last year’s competition.
Photo: BYU

Along with attending workshops held by campus faculty, students will have the ability to network and meet potential employers at the Career Fair, which will be held on Thursday, March 16. Nearly 100 landscape, lawn care, tree care, irrigation and supplier companies will be present to meet with students.

“Plus, as employers vie for talent, the rewards of landscape industry careers are only getting sweeter,” Henriksen said. “From lucrative compensation packages, to fast-tracked upward mobility, job stability and the innate satisfaction of doing good for communities and the environment, the benefits of working in the landscape industry are enticing in ways that many traditionally popular careers can’t compete with.”

The National Association of Landscape Professionals Foundation will also present 57 scholarships during its reception to students who are diligently pursuing a career in the green industry. The Foundation will provide 81 scholarships totaling more than $100,000 in 2017.

“We couldn’t be more excited to host the National Collegiate Landscape Competition in Provo and be a part of this important event that brings together the best of the best professionals-in-training with the top professionals in the field in the spirit of education, excellence and industry advancement,” said Phil Allen, CLP, professor of landscape management at BYU.

Major sponsors for the 2017 National Collegiate Landscape Competition are STIHL Inc.; John Deere; Caterpillar, Inc.; Gravely, an Ariens Company Brand; and Husqvarna.

Below is a video where some students share with the Harvest Group at Landscapes 2016 why they’ve chosen the landscape industry:

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