By Brandon Whaley, Mainscape
FNGLA Apprenticeship Committee Chair
Back in April 2020, FNGLA announced a grant awarded from the Florida Department of Education to assist in the development of its Nursery & Landscape Apprenticeship Program. After just a few months, we are excited FNGLA’s Apprenticeship Program has gained the approval of not only the United State Department of Labor, but also the Florida Department of Education, and now the Florida Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
Even with COVID-19 preventing face-to-face meetings, a committee of member volunteers and FNGLA staff worked together to develop the program, its work processes, compensation calculations and technical instruction. We are thankful for the team effort and dedication to creating a world-class program which holds tremendous potential to impact our industry for years to come.
Apprenticeship allows individuals to learn a skilled occupation while being gainfully employed. Apprentices are employees (unlike many interns) and both parties agree to salary increases and advancement while the apprentice is in the program. This program provides workforce education to produce well-trained, highly-skilled horticulture, landscape and irrigation technicians. The U.S. Department of Labor reports 91 percent of individuals completing apprenticeships remain with their employer.
A big thank you to FNGLA staff Merry Mott and Gary Weitermann and to the members of the FNGLA Apprenticeship Committee:
Gale Albritton, Magnolia Grex, Tallahassee
Ed Bravo, Big Trees Plantation, Newberry
Bonnie Desmond, Pinellas County Parks, Clearwater
Chloe Gentry, Cherrylake, Groveland
Lisa Hall, Yellowstone Landscape, Bunnell
Linda Nelson, Greenscapes, Naples
On behalf of the FNGLA Apprenticeship Committee, we are excited for the opportunity to provide you with this outstanding resource to help you develop talent, attract long-term employees, reduce turnover and train staff.
The FNGLA program has officially launched! So, if your goal is to recruit top-notch apprentices – or if you need more info to learn how this apprenticeship program may be right for your company – please contact FNGLA’s Merry Mott at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-375-3642.