NALP Develops Pre-Apprenticeship Program with Civic Works - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

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NALP Develops Pre-Apprenticeship Program with Civic Works

Jenn Myers with some of the individuals enrolled in the pre-apprenticeship program at Civic Works Landscape Program headquarters in Clifton Park.

Over the last two years, NALP has been working with The Corps Network and Jobs for the Future to develop a pre-apprenticeship program at Civic Works in Baltimore, Maryland.

Working together, these organizations have been mapping Civic Works’ existing landscape program to the NALP Landscape Management Apprenticeship Program (LMAP), and initiating and supporting employer engagement with local landscape contractors.

The goal is to create a model for pre-apprenticeship that can be replicated throughout the country, with those who complete the program transitioning into the professional landscape industry and continuing into the full apprenticeship program.

The federal Department of Labor defines pre-apprenticeship as a program or set of strategies designed to prepare individuals for entry into Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAP) or other job opportunities.

Pre-apprenticeships may last from a few weeks to a few months and may or may not include wages or stipends. Pre-apprenticeship programs have varied program elements; however, at the core, places an individual on a pathway to employability through a RAP.

“The partnership we have with Civic Works is designed to give individuals a jump start on the LMAP,” says Jenn Myers, executive director of NALP Foundation & senior director of workforce development. “CW already had a landscape program, but by matching against ours and getting approval from NALP, they can ensure their students are prepared to come out of that program (after 3 months to 12 months) and continue training to fulfill the necessary requirements of the full apprenticeship program (LMAP). By aligning with us, they are giving their students more and can use to market their program. It also gives our industry more exposure, often in communities/places that are not already directly tied to our industry.”

Pre-apprentices will have completed 300 to 1,000 hours of hands-on training and demonstrated an ability to mow, edge and trim turf areas and use a backpack blower; prune shrubs and trees; plant, cultivate and maintain flowerbeds; water, prune, fertilize, mulch and maintain existing landscapes according to specifications; and much more.

These pre-apprentices will have cultivated a deep appreciation for environmental stewardship, nurtured positive work habits and been mentored to support their professional goals.

Myers met with NALP’s partners in person recently at the Civic Works Landscape Program headquarters in Clifton Park. She also got to meet some of the young men and women currently enrolled in the first cohort of pre-apprenticeship.

“James, Destinee, Teron and Jaden shared their passion for landscaping (it’s not just mowing grass!) and appreciation for our entire partnership team,” Myers says. “The professional landscape industry is for everyone. Programs like this make it possible to expose more individuals to our industry and prepare them for a long career creating and maintaining the places where we all live, work, and play.”

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.