Depending on where you’re located, students are either already back in school or preparing to start a new school year. As school gets underway, it’s also a prime time to take advantage of Pathful Connect (previously NEPRIS), which allows industry professionals to share their skills with students virtually and nationwide.
“It’s all about our future workforce and getting in front of young people at an early age – letting them know there is a wonderful industry with professional careers available for them to consider,” says Pam Moore, director of foundation operations for NALP.
Students can research and compare career experiences on Pathful Connect. They can ask industry professionals directly about how they reached their current position and find role models for their future career. More than 30 companies and 70+ landscape industry professionals have used the platform over the past two years.
“The NALP Foundation is proud to support this important industry presence and to partner with contractors and suppliers to showcase the landscape profession as a vibrant and smart career choice,” says Jenn Myers, executive director of the NALP Foundation & senior director of workforce development.
The platform has 176,000+ educators and 1,500,000+ student impressions. Presenters are able to tell their story about their career with videos, PowerPoint presentations, career interviews or live facility tours all without having to leave the office.
NALP members have given over 30 presentations on topics such as:
- Climbing to New Heights: Careers in Arboriculture
- Entrepreneurship, How to Build a Landscaping Company
- Horticultural Therapy: Healing through Plants
- Water Conservation – Solutions from the Irrigation Industry
These presentations have reached 19 states as well as Germany, currently.
NALP also hosts the World of Landscape and Benefits of Healthy Landscapes events, where there are presentations for a week.
“The World of Landscape event was about the love of nature and the great outdoors,” Moore says. “Presenters talked about their passion to protect and enhance outdoor spaces in their communities. The Benefits of Healthy Landscapes event provided students an understanding of how good landscape management can be beneficial for your physical and mental health as well as the environment.”
To become a presenter yourself, sign up here to create your profile. You can choose from volunteer opportunities as educators seek presenters for specific topics. All the presentations are held live and recorded. They are stored in the Pathful library where educators can browse, check out and present previously recorded presentations to their students.
If you are interested in presenting to students, below are some tips for success.
1. Keep it concise – 30-minute presentations keep the students’ attention, as some classes are only 45 minutes long.
2. Be yourself and tell your STORY – students like to hear why you made the decision to do what you do. Tell them about what your job entails and what you do on a daily basis. Make it fun and about your accomplishments and how you feel when a project is complete.
3. Be creative – Students love to see outside your workspace. For example, take your camera outside and visit other areas of your facility. Interview others in your organization to add variety. Maybe you have a greenhouse or nursery, show students what goes on in that department. There are so many opportunities for you to share with students.
4. Provide resources where students can learn more about professional landscape careers.
Sign up for Pathful and share exciting career opportunities in the landscape industry with students!