Equipment maintenance pathway to launch fall 2019 Email
Written by Becky Garber   
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 03:00 AM

MechanicJust as landscape companies struggle to build boots-on-the-ground workforce, the equipment support side of the industry is in similar need. People who work behind the scenes servicing and repairing equipment literally keep the industry rolling and without enough skilled technicians, landscape jobs could come to a screeching halt.

This is why ALCC’s Landscape Career Pathways Program is expanding in partner-ship with Colorado Community College System (CCCS) to offer the Compact Equipment Certificate whereby high school students can learn and demonstrate proficiency in equipment maintenance skills.

Many high school Ag/Ed programs throughout Colorado already have shop areas where students learn equipment-related skills. Industry support via the certificate program will help schools align curriculum more closely with current industry needs. Students will focus on foundational skills applied to engine, electrical and hydraulic systems related to all types of equipment. They will also explore the variety of career options available to them.

Students will also spend time in a real-world company honing skills and demonstrating mastery as determined by an outside evaluator. Those who are successful in completing the certificate will be prepared and pre-qualified to step into entry-level jobs after high school graduation.

Additional training beyond high school is not necessary for initial employment as employers typically provide the next level of training. Many manufacturers and distributors have training programs and/or scholarships in place that offer ongoing training leading to upward mobility.

A task force comprised of equipment manufacturers and distributors met in August 2018 to determine whether this Career Pathway would be of value to the industry. Consensus was “Absolutely!” In a subsequent meeting, they identified key skills that should be taught. Work will continue in 2019 to finalize skill sets, evaluation procedures and more.

The task force includes the following individuals: John Bertsch, The L. L. Johnson Distributing Co.; Marty Cirbo and Sarah Kaminsky, Wagner Equipment Co.; Will Giefer, G & G Equipment, Inc.; Andrew Heesacker, Arvada Rent-Alls; Jake Potestio, Postestio Brothers Equipment, Inc.; Seth Reed, Inter-mountain STIHL; and Mike Smith, Honnen Equipment Company.

This story was originally published in the January/February 2019 issue of Colorado Green.

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
Greeley offers rebate on first-time landscape certification testing
Thanks for a great ProGreen EXPO 2019--save the dates for 2020
Colorado House Bill would encourage water conservation and Xeriscaping

Welby Plant Trials bring fresh color for 2019