FORT COLLINS, Colo. — From March 20-22, UVCC Landscape Management students will join more than 1,500 peers, eager-to-hire employers, faculty and volunteers from across the U.S. to demonstrate their talents at the 43rd annual National Collegiate Landscape Competition, presented by the National Association of Landscape Professionals. Hosted at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., the three-day event, coined the “Olympics of the Landscape Industry,” will provide UVCC students access to the country’s largest landscape skills competition, educational workshops, presentations from the industry’s top professionals and a career fair.
This event is key in helping to fill the labor shortage within the industry by cultivating the talents of the future professional landscape industry leaders. The competition provides top students enrolled in interior and exterior horticulture programs at two- and four-year colleges and universities the opportunity to connect with professionals from the field during the career fair and networking events. Students highlight their professional skill set by participating in competitions ranging from arboriculture techniques (tree climbing) and 3D landscape design to skid steer loader operation and small engine repair.
This year’s competition will bring together over 800 students from approximately 60 schools, including Upper Valley Career Center, who will compete to take home top honors in 29 team and individual competitions. Being the 1st time competing in this event Upper Valley is bringing a small group of only five students who will compete in the Landscape Sales presentation, Landscape Plant Installation, Business Management, Irrigation Installation, Hardscape Installation, Truck & Trailer Operation, Skid Steer Operation and Compact Excavator Operation competitions.
“Upper Valley Career Center will be one of only two high school programs competing in this event. I see this experience as much more than just a competition. This event will provide knowledge and industry contacts for my students that will carry with them for the rest of their lives,” said John Kreitzer, instructor of the Landscape Program at UVCC
In addition to exhibiting skills in a variety of competitive events, Landscape Management students will also be given the opportunity to network with landscape industry leaders throughout the event. At the career fair, over 100 industry employers will be on site to tap into the best talent across landscape disciplines, including construction, greenhouse/production, design, business development and management.
“The National Collegiate Landscape Competition has a rich history spanning over four decades, but never before has it been as critical as it is today,” said Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs, National Association of Landscape Professionals. “Each year, our industry must fill 300,000 jobs. This event is an incredible opportunity for the next generation of landscape professionals to showcase their skills and discover their passion, while walking away with new connections and in many cases, lucrative job offers.”
To learn more about the National Collegiate Landscape Competition, visit www.landscapecompetition.org.
For more information on Upper Valley Career Center Landscape Management Program], visit www.uppervalleycc.org.