Dozens of agriculture, floriculture and horticulture companies nationwide will connect with high school students in October to showcase careers within their businesses as part of Green Career Week, a new initiative led by Seed Your Future.
The event, slated for Oct. 3 to 7, asks businesses in the industry to do at least one of three things: invite high school students to visit their business; send company representatives to high schools to talk about career opportunities; or join a social media campaign to promote green careers.
Seed Your Future, the Society of American Florists’ partner organization that connects students with green jobs, hopes the event will showcase the variety of careers in the industry, including those in STEM, business management, design, and marketing.
“No matter a student’s passion, they can find that career in these industries,” says Seed Your Future Executive Director Jazmin Albarran.
Seed Your Future offers step-by-step instructions for reaching out to schools, as well as detailed itineraries for student activities and a sample news release for companies to use to spread the word. Companies must register for the event to receive those resources.
“We created these tools to make it easy for companies to participate in the event,” Albarran says. “Companies of all sizes can take part.”
It’s Albarran’s hope that Green Career Week — and the resources provided with it — will give companies the tools they need to develop their own pipeline of future employees.
“They have to be connected within their local communities to do that,” she says. “This is a great first step.”
Plans call for Green Career Week to happen twice a year, in the spring and fall, to expose students to the different aspects of jobs depending on the season. The next Green Career Week is scheduled for Feb. 27 to March 3. Future events will target college and middle school students.
The inaugural event already has nearly 50 companies registered, including Ball Seed, whose regional business manager, Erick Harris, proposed the idea and worked with Albarran to bring it to fruition.
“When I talk to young people in colleges majoring in horticulture, many are not aware that in addition to research and development and propagation, our industry also has sales, logistics, IT, customer relations, and supply management/procurement departments,” Harris says. “Seed Your Future is uniquely equipped to lead this effort. We just need more people to get on board, participate, and support the initiative and Seed Your Future.”
Lee’s Flower and Card Shop in Washington is also registered for Green Career Week.
Co-owner Stacie Lee Banks believes that collectively the event will help the floral industry talent pipeline. She is using the resources from Seed Your Future to begin planning how the business will participate.
Harris urges all companies to use the Seed Your Future resources to get involved and cultivate the next generation of professionals.
“We think Green Career Week can snowball over the next few years and help the industry find the next generation,” he says. “All we need is for everyone to pitch in and spread the word.”
Amanda Jedlinsky is the managing editor of SAF NOW.