March 20 -23, 2019, Tom Fochtman, Ceibass, CEO, was a judge at the National Collegiate Landscape Competition at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.

“The NALP Foundation puts on the National Collegiate Landscape Competition and is celebrating its 43rd year as THE event that draws the largest gathering of green industry students entering the job market. This is the real March Madness,” said Tom Fochtman. “Rising green industry superstars participate in industry-related competitions, an exciting reception, a Career Fair, and educational sessions. Approximately 850 students, 150 faculty, and 300 green industry professionals attended this event. It was spectacular!”

Tom is the NALP Foundation’s President-Elect and he could not be more excited about the event. “Students from around the country come and compete and the level of competition is very high…no other industry is doing anything like this to my knowledge” said Tom. “Colleges bring their best and brightest to this event to see how they react under pressure. Students compete in real-world, timed events such as building a patio, constructing a bench, completing a bid, plant identification, conducting job interviews and closing a sale and leaving with a check in a role-playing residential sale situation.”

For more than two decades, the NALP Foundation (a 501c3) has been focused on supporting the education of future landscape industry professionals. Through the generous support of its donors, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 million in academic scholarships to landscape and horticulture students.

To advance its mission in the 21st century, the Foundation is committed to growing the industry and its workforce through the Industry Growth Initiative.

Through its national media relations, advertising and outreach campaigns, the Industry Growth Initiative is telling consumers, customers, and our future workforce that life – and life’s work – are best enjoyed outdoors. IGI showcases the value the industry offers families, communities and the environment and is taking bold steps to address the industry’s crippling workforce shortage.

IGI is funded through an industry coalition of landscape and lawn care companies, manufacturers and suppliers committed to raising the profile and recognition of professionalism in the industry. NALP’s Foundation leads the effort to raise $2 million dollars a year to support this major national campaign.

“Labor is the number one issue facing our industry,” said Tom Fochtman. “Call me and learn how you can become part of this important industry-wide movement.”