It’s no secret attracting talent is a challenge in the floral industry.
“Most companies in floriculture are having a tough time finding young people to hire,” said Anna Ball, president and CEO of Ball Horticultural Company in West Chicago, Illinois. “It is a pain point that everyone can relate to. It used to be there were many more floriculture programs in colleges and universities but many of them have closed. Almost all young people are not even aware the industry exists.”
Ball, a member of the Floriculture Hall of Fame, and Susan E. Yoder of Seed Your Future will present what they’re doing to develop a strong pipeline of future talent during “Breeding Future Floriculturists,” one of several educational sessions addressing how to find and retain quality employees at SAF Palm Springs 2018, the Society of American Florists’ 134th annual convention, Sept. 12-15, at the Westin Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, California.
Through industry and public research — including focus groups of middle-schoolers, parents, teachers and counselors —Seed Your Future has sought answers. From the research findings, it has developed an Education Plan and a PR/Marketing Plan that promotes horticulture — and floriculture — and encourages more people to pursue careers working with plants.
“Americans know horticulture is important, but don’t understand how someone makes a viable, rewarding, self-supporting career out of it,” Seed Your Future reports. “Given the benefits associated with the industry — available jobs, science/technology, and working outdoors — communicating these attributes will help pique individuals’ interest in the field. Additional focus and education should be placed on younger adults and middle school and high school students.”
Ball noted that there are many reasons for young people to be interested in getting into the industry, including:
- Because there is a huge diversity of jobs.
- Because it incorporates art, science, technology and business.
- Because it is an exciting industry.
- Because the people are wonderful.
- Because you can help bring a lot of wonderful things to our society.
- Plants and flowers reduce crime, feed souls, improve the environment, reduce runoff, reduce energy with shade, and more!
During their presentation, Ball and Yoder will point out semantics and imagery that resonate with Millennials and Generation Z about the benefits of careers in horticulture and floriculture, creative campaign ideas that emphasize the significance of the art, science, technology and business of horticulture and floriculture, and how you can get involved in the movement to make a long-term difference in the availability of qualified candidates for your business.
They are among the 58 expert speakers presenting at SAF Palm Springs 2018. Learn more and register now at safnow.org/annual-convention. Early-bird registration ends Aug. 17 and saves you $205.