Why I volunteer my time for industry organizations (and you should consider it, too)

Kingstowne Lawn & Landscape
Krisjan Berzins of Kingstowne Lawn & Landscape says that all landscape professionals can benefit from volunteering their time in the industry.
Kingstowne Lawn & Landscape

We all know there’s only so much time in a day. As the owner of Kingstowne Lawn & Landscape as well as a husband and a father, like many others, my spare time is limited. But I believe strongly in volunteering time within the Green Industry to improve the future of our profession. Volunteering time with the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) as well as the Landscape Contractors Association (LCA) has given me the opportunity to give back to this industry that has provided so much for myself and my community. But it has also given me the chance to have a voice and to stay on top of pressing issues within our industry.

Currently, I am new to the LCA Board of Directors and have appreciated the opportunity to connect with other Green Industry leaders. There are many benefits to be had by remaining connected within the industry and building relationships with other landscape professionals.

At the NALP, I am part of the Workforce Advisory Council, which his focused on creative ways to try and attract more people to the Green Industry.

A passion for recruiting

Recruiting more people to the Green Industry is something that will benefit all of us. As you likely know firsthand, we are experiencing a workforce crisis right now. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find people who want to come work for our industry. Over time, we’re all going to begin to feel the effects of that more and more.

That’s why we all need to find ways that we can be part of the solution. The NALP’s Workforce Advisory Council is constantly talking about what it will take to attract new folks to our industry—and we appreciate having lots of voices involved in this discussion.

We’re currently looking at ways that we can leverage technology and new innovations to show young people that the Green Industry will present exciting opportunities for their future. We’re also looking at ways that we can educate younger students so that they can choose this career path earlier on.

This has even included providing resources so that industry professionals like you and me can start speaking at career days for children as young as elementary school. We understand that playing the long game can pay off in terms of tomorrow’s workforce.

Getting involved

Recruiting and helping to grow our industry is something that I’m passionate about, which is why I’ve appreciated the opportunity to be involved with the NALP’s Workforce Advisory Council. I also believe that building our industry happens from within, too, which is why networking and involvement on the LAC has been valuable.

Though it takes time to be involved in these organizations, I can easily say that everything I’ve gotten out of them is worth that investment. I would also encourage other landscape professionals to carve out some time and get involved. Together, we can make real changes that can help continue to improve our industry.

There are many opportunities to get involved at the local, regional, or national level—and you just have to seek them out. You might also consider connecting with local schools or community groups to participate in career days or simply give back locally. Volunteering your time and resources is rewarding—and it ultimately enhances our industry by continuing to improve people's impression of what we have to offer.

 krisjan berzins

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