Bright Future on the Horizon?

Sarah Asay networks with landscape companies at PLANET’s Student Career Days.Sarah Asay networks with landscape companies at PLANET’s Student Career Days.

Here’s what the numbers and pros are forecasting for the industry.

I’m a skeptic. But maybe that comes with being in the media profession. So when I hear the economy is on the mend, I look for the proof. One of the signs of recovery for the landscape industry starts with construction and the housing-market boom.

The construction industry added 48,000 new jobs in February, according to the United States Department of Labor’s February report. And since September, construction employment has risen by 151,000 jobs.

This continued improvement in the construction market means a renewal in the demand for landscape services. But maybe even bigger than the numbers are the forecasts of the green industry pros – and the next generation.

I attended the Professional Landcare Network’s (PLANET) Student Career Days last month where I got a reading on what’s next for the industry. Amid booths set up by landscape companies, manufacturers and associations, hundreds of students from colleges around the country networked, while offering a fresh perspective on the future.

“Some day, our generation will be filling their shoes,” says Sarah Asay, a junior at Brigham Young University studying landscape management. “We want to bring up the green industry.”

With a love and desire to see the trade succeed, the students I met made me more optimistic than any number or statistic. But isn’t that determination and passion what has always helped the landscape industry survive?

To see photos and more about the career fair, read Field Report in our April issue. Watch video of the event on our YouTube channel,

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