STURBRIDGE, Mass. — Massachusetts’ landscape and nursery industry has boomed over the past few years, bringing in $2.6 billion annually, but an acute labor shortage may put a halt to that growth. An estimated 14,000 positions are going unfilled in Massachusetts.
To address this need, the Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA) is hosting its 2nd annual Green Industry Career Fair on Tuesday, February 7, from 8am-12pm at the Sturbridge Host Hotel & Conference Center in Sturbridge, Mass. More than 40 Massachusetts employers are expected at the 2nd annual event to speak with jobseekers about career opportunities in the industry and conduct hiring interviews.
Why are so many companies struggling to find qualified candidates? “Discretionary income has increased and the Massachusetts building market is moving in a positive direction,” generating increased demand for green industry services, says Jim Stucchi, MCH, of Ahronian Landscape & Design, who will be exhibiting at the career fair. “Couple that with an ever weakening labor pool and the result is an extremely competitive hiring market,” Stucchi said. As a consequence of being understaffed, Massachusetts landscape and nursery companies are missing out on revenue and growth opportunities, he added.
Other states are also experiencing a labor shortage in the green industry. According to a 2016 Greenhouse Grower survey, a shortage in labor supply was the most frequently cited burden for the grower and supplier industry.
Kerry Preston, MCH, of Wisteria & Rose, who will also be exhibiting at the career fair, says, “People entering the job market or changing careers aren’t aware of the diversity of positions our industry needs, from accounting to sales to design to installation.” She adds, “We need the opportunity to present the green industry as a career choice.”
Fellow exhibitor Peter Mezitt, of Weston Nurseries, agrees. “A large-scale career fair gives companies the chance to share their profession with potential employees.” He adds, “Our community is full of excitement and opportunities. It’s especially important that the younger population sees that the green industry is a healthy and profitable career path.”
The career fair is free. Preregistration is not required, but is encouraged. Interested individuals can register and find more information online at www.MNLA.com, or download a flyer here.
About the Massachusetts Nursery & Landscape Association, Inc. (MNLA) The MNLA is a statewide nonprofit association dedicated to advancing the interests of “green industry” professionals. MNLA members are businesses and individuals committed to promoting awareness of environmental horticulture and upholding the highest standards of the nursery and landscape industry. MNLA is the largest green industry business development vehicle in Massachusetts, providing its members with educational opportunities, industry news, legislative representation, and business development resources. First established in 1910, MNLA has represented the needs of nursery and landscape professionals for more than 100 years.
–Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association
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