SOURCE: Professional Landcare Network (PLANET)

Professional Landcare Network (PLANET)

February 18, 2015 10:05 ET

Nation's Collegiate Landscape Competition Heads to North Carolina State University, March 12-15

Top Landscape Companies Vie to Hire Best Landscape and Horticulture Students for an Industry That Needs More Qualified Professionals

RALEIGH, NC--(Marketwired - Feb 18, 2015) - Often characterized as the "Olympics" of landscaping, the annual Student Career Days, being held March 12-15, 2015, is a competitive training and career recruitment event. The event is organized by the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), the national trade association representing landscape professionals.

More than 850 college students from 65 of the nation's top horticulture and landscape programs, including four from North Carolina, are expected to attend the event at North Carolina State University.

Competitive events and workshops teaching hands-on skills students need after graduation will include 3-D landscape design, irrigation techniques, hardscape installation, plant identification, small engine repair and many more. An arboriculture workshop will have students scaling real trees, while workshops on skid steer and backhoe loader operations will have them using the actual equipment commonly found in the field.

"These students are emerging professionals who will go to employers with extensive practical skills," said Lee Ivy, lecturer at North Carolina State University. "When students exit college with a degree in horticulture or landscaping, as well as a certification from PLANET, and the skill sets needed for the real world, it's a winning combination. They arrive at an employer ready to work."

As a leading recruitment event for the $73 billion landscape industry, Student Career Days includes a Career Fair where students interview for jobs after graduation. The nation's major landscape companies travel from afar to recruit employees.

"Demand is at an all-time high for graduating horticulturists and landscape designers," said Ed Furner, Landscape Industry Certified, chair of PLANET's Student Career Days. "At Student Career Days, employers are assessing students during the competitive events to fill positions. Even though the industry employs approximately 1 million workers, there is a shortage of qualified employees, so top graduates who can demonstrate their knowledge and skills at this event are highly sought after.″

In addition to the competitive and recruiting events, the PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF), a $3.9 million nonprofit foundation that provides academic scholarships to promising students aspiring to be landscape industry professionals, will award 77 scholarships valued at $93,700 during the event.

The major sponsors for Student Career Days 2015 include STIHL Inc. at the Platinum level; JOHN DEERE at the Gold level; Caterpillar Inc., Gravely, an Ariens Company Brand, Husqvarna, and New Holland Construction at the Silver level; and Anchor Wall Systems, Inc., Belgard Hardscapes, BRICKMAN, the Toro Company, and ValleyCrest Landscape Companies at the Bronze level.

For additional information on Student Career Days, visit or call PLANET at 800-395-2522.

PLANET is the national trade association representing more than 100,000 landscape industry professionals, who create and maintain healthy, green living spaces for communities across America. PLANET members are committed to the highest standards in industry education, best practices and business professionalism. Many of PLANET's professionals have attained the status of becoming Landscape Industry Certified, achieving the greatest level of industry expertise and knowledge. Visit PLANET at

Contact Information