Michael Womochil, key proponent of Landscape Career Pathways, to retire Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, April 06, 2021 04:00 AM

Michael Womochil, Program Director for Agriculture, Energy and Natural Resources with the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), will retire this year at the end of June. He has been a long-time ally to the Colorado landscape industry.

Womochil helped ALCC launch its Landscape Career Pathways Program in 2014 in order to help train students as skilled workers who can be hired directly out of high school into upwardly mobile careers in the landscape industry.

The program gave Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers hands-on training in basic landscape skills so they could apply the lessons in the classroom. For his leadership in launching and developing the Landscape Career Pathways program, Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado (ALCC) named Womochil their John Garvey Person of the Year Award in 2017.

Womochil worked with ALCC volunteers to create four landscape industry career paths and execute the training program. “Every high school student needs to connect with a career that feeds their passion. This connection with landscape was not happening in our Colorado high schools when we started the Landscape Pathways Program,” said Womochil. “Now that has changed.”

“I’m proud of the work we did with ALCC, and there’s still lots to do,” Womochil says. “COVID set us back a bit, but we will be re-established. Interest is [still] there.” His optimism is inspired by the program’s strong relationships with high schools. He has offered to continue to be a resource to the program as a volunteer in his retirement.

“We are grateful for Michael Womochil’s efforts,” says Melissa Emdin, Programs & Education Director at ALCC. “Without his support, the Landscape Career Pathways may not have been possible. I will miss working with him and hope to continue to honor his legacy by ensuring that the Pathways program continues to grow.”

Through the Colorado Community College System, Womochil works with high school teachers in over 100 schools to deliver agriculture and horticulture programs. Prior to his work at CCCS, Womochil worked with National FFA as regional support staff. Before that, he worked in agriculture education for 27 years.

Looking back on his career, Womochil leaves with pride in the growth of the programs he’s led. There has been an increase in the number of high school programs teaching agriculture and energy, as well as an increase lately in outdoor recreation programs and an increase in the number of colleges offering ag courses.

He also worked on a national project that redefined work-based learning with agriculture. As a result, he is happy to see more focus on career goals and work-based learning in a career area of interest, not just work for awards and recognition.

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
Two Colorado schools showed their skills at virtual landscape competition
Remember anti-discrimination compliance when recruiting
National Lawn Care Month addresses climate change

ALCC announces 2021 scholarship recipients