FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- You might think of shovels and wheelbarrows, but the landscaping industry is much more than that for the Centennial State.
The industry brings in more than $2 billion a year to Colorado but landscape companies are facing the worst shortage of skilled workers since 2009, according to Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC). Now, the organization is teaming up with the Colorado Community College System to help spread the word and the skills needed to enter the workforce.
For 10 high school teachers representing 10 school districts, it was a day out of the classroom switching roles and learning from landscape professionals at the CoBank Center in Fort Collins.
Courtney Mayo is one of the teachers that took a day off from teaching her agriculture students so they could learn the tricks of the landscaping trade.
“I knew the basics of it but coming here and getting the instruction straight from the industry and being able to take that back to the students, is awesome,” said Mayo.
Her students at Green Mountain High School will then get the same hands-on learning.
“It’s an exciting thing because at the end of the day, you see your finished product and you get to see where you came from and where you started.”
Dave Doyle with Summit Lawn Landscape was one of the instructors teaching the group paving techniques.
Colorado companies are having trouble finding enough skilled workers and the shortage could create opportunities through the event.
“Right out of high school, this could be a job that a student can do to start a career path or it can be a summer job to help pay for college,” said Becky Garber with the ALCC.
So a few times a year, several Colorado based teachers will gather to learn, hoping to inspire their students to pursue a different path so important to Colorado.
For more information on the ALCC, visit their website here.