For three days in March, students from horticultural programs across the country will gather at the 38th Annual PLANET Student Career Days to compete in events, attend workshops, and meet potential employers. The event is hosted by PLANET, the national trade organization representing landscape professionals.
The competitive events focus on skills students will use working in the green industry. More than 25 events cover everything from plant identification to equipment operation to cost estimation. Students have a chance to compare themselves to peers and gain feedback about their performance. And it’s a ton of fun.
Showing Our Support
Hoffman Nursery is pleased to be this year’s lead sponsor for the Annual and Perennial Identification event. Participants must identify a mix of 50 annuals and perennials. Points are given for correct botanical and common names, as well as correct spelling. This event is always well attended, and the students are eager to show off their identification skills.
John Hoffman attended PLANET and the identification event for several years in his role as President of the Perennial Plant Association (PPA). He was impressed with the students’ energy and enthusiasm. With declining enrollment in horticultural programs, it’s been exciting to meet students who are motivated and eager to work in the green industry. After his tenure with PPA ended, John still wanted to be part of the student career days. When the opportunity arose to sponsor this identification event, he jumped at the chance.
Hoffman Nursery’s support for PLANET students doesn’t end there. Over the past few years, students from NC State University, Alamance Community College, and Sandhills Community College have participated in nursery work days. Students tend landscaped areas and help our growing team in exchange for a donation toward their PLANET trip. Moreover, the nursery has made other donations to these groups to help reduce students’ personal costs for travel, food, and other trip expenses.
The Big Event
The host site for the Student Career Days rotates among schools with active horticultural programs. This year, the event will be held March 20-23 at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.
John and Jill Hoffman will be attending and helping coordinate the Annual & Perennial Identification. The plants are gathered by Hoffman Nursery and include donated plants from Plantworks Nursery in Rougemont, NC and Plantorium Greenhouse & Nursery in Fort Collins, CO. The 2015 event will be in Raleigh, NC, and we look forward to hosting close to home.
If you’re not familiar with PLANET Student Career Days, please learn more about it. Then consider participating in the career fair, sponsoring an event, helping local students attend, or attending yourself. You may meet that future employee who will be a perfect fit. It’s also an investment in the future of horticulture. That’s why Hoffman Nursery is proud to be part of it.