The latest group of professionals to join FNGLA’s certification ranks come courtesy of the Florida Department of Transportation.
Beginning in 2018, FDOT has mandated all Worksite Landscape Supervisors who directly oversee landscape installation and establishment on FDOT jobs must hold either FNGLA’s Certified Landscape Technician (FCLT) or Contractor (FCLC) designations.
“This has introduced a number of engineering firms to FNGLA,” says Merry Mott, director of Industry Certifications and Professional Development, at FNGLA.
Working ahead of the curve, one of the first companies to certify their employees was KCI Technologies, a Maryland-based engineering, consulting and construction firm. KCI’s Tampa-based Senior Inspector Terrence Waddell, and Inspector Adam Chapman looked into earning their FNGLA certifications in 2016.
“Completing both the FCLT and Horticulture Professional Certifications have helped me with field inspections tremendously,” says Chapman, who added he uses knowledge he gained from getting certified to detect and prevent possible damage and deficiencies of newly planted landscaping on various projects. “It has also enabled me to communicate deficiencies and needed repairs to the contractors in terminology which prevents any miscommunications.”
Waddell agreed, saying, “Acquiring this certification has enabled KCI Technologies to pursue projects with landscape requirements in the scope of work with the confidence we will exceed the client’s expectations.”
In addition to becoming certified themselves, Chapman and Waddell both serve as judges at FNGLA’s Central Florida test site at SeaWorld Horticulture Orlando to provide certification for other industry professionals.
“By staying involved and being a judge for FNGLA’s certification program, it’s a way of giving back and staying current with the program,” Waddell says. “It’s also a way of meeting industry professionals to share their experiences in the field. It’s helpful to observe and forecast trends in the industry.”
Chapman adds his association with FNGLA has connected him to very knowledgeable individuals.“While studying for the FCLT exam, everyone was willing to help and several people took time to walk me through the courses one on one,” he says. “Helping judge and proctor the various certification exam stations connects me with great resources to reach out if I need any advice or recommendations.”
For more information on upcoming FCLT training and exam dates, visit FNGLA’s website.