CGKA / CT High School Careers Program For the Green & Grounds Keeping Industry
The number one concern of the grounds keeping industry is identifying and recruiting good employees who are trainable. The CT Grounds Keepers Association can be fundamental in helping to find and develop the next generation of leaders in the lawn and turf industry.
Training which historically was handed down from father to son no longer exists in many ways. As with all professions students should be shown the path to success in the green industry by leaders of the industry.
With CGKA as an education partner the grounds keeping students should feel their training had extra real world relevance as they navigate life in high school.
- CGKA would seek out a Board of advisors and directors who might be recruited to administer the program at their schools. This Board would be primarily instructors currently in the green industry educational programs.
- CGKA and advisors will create a template for training high school students to include:
- A minimum number of hours in classroom training in the sciences of grounds keeping, career training, and business 101 to be scheduled for the months of March and April each year. A grounds keeping company owner would be recruited as a school’s “coach” for Q & A.
- Field work with an instructor and intern at a CGKA member firm for the month of May of 40 hours (or more as deemed relevant).
- Tours of local supply facilities, hands on training of equipment by industry experts and even attendance at CGKA events might be included..
- After completing the program a student would receive a certificate of completion and a sponsored two year student membership in the CGKA. Students would be given a list of CGKA members to apply for a job (though obviously that is not mandatory)
Connecticut high schools have internship programs for their graduating seniors that plan to attend college, why not for those who plan to be self-employed?
High school guidance counselors would be a huge part of the program in targeting eligible students. In addition they would help recruit an instructor in each school that will handle the preliminary classwork.
Students going to UCONN would be eligible for the CGKA scholarship.
If just 300 students across the state went through the program each year, that could be 300 who end up working for a decent company and who are further trainable. CGKA members who hire students would be asked for fee of some kind to cover CGKA costs.