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THE NALP EXPERIENCE


Workforce Summit Drives Dialogue on Industry’s Labor Crisis


The 2019 NALP Workforce Summit, an industry think tank powered by NALP’s Industry Growth Initiative and sponsored by Caterpillar and LMN Business Software, took place in February. Approximately 130 contractors came together to discuss the industry’s current lack of seasonal, entry-level and management employees as their biggest impediment to growth. Key takeaways from the meeting included:  Companies must work together to impact change for the industry’s workforce challenges instead of working only for themselves.


 The industry must change its culture and think and act differently to attract and retain a more diverse workforce.


 Apprenticeships open doors for workforce development.


 The industry belongs on workforce boards.


 The No. 1 driver to attract prospects to the profession is the desire to work in an industry to help the environment. TLP


“The high debt folks come out of college with is a major challenge. Getting a bachelor’s degree in a field where you can’t get a job after- ward doesn’t benefit anyone. What you are doing is more important. You’re creating family-sustaining jobs and career opportunities where people don’t have to come out of college with massive debt. This is a highly skilled job. You have to understand pH levels, flooding … there is math involved … you have to recognize plants, etc. It’s an incredibly important industry. Why don’t we respect people doing great jobs in great industries just because they don’t have a college degree?” —Nicholas Geale, chief of staff, U.S. Dept of Labor


“71,000 full-time landscape industry jobs went unfilled in 2017. This stat comes from the Bureau of Labor and is the most recent statistic we have. I think we would all say that number is much higher and feels much higher. Contractors are turning away business and cancelling contracts because there are not enough people to do the work.” —Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs, NALP


12 The Landscape Professional // May/June 2019


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