Someone once told me that you shouldn’t “go” into business, you should “grow” into business.
The career path concept: The green industry needs to identify what it has to offer to someone considering it for their career. Such a career path should not only explain what the key job positions are but it should also explain the requirements and steps to get there.
Licensing and certifications: I don’t like to force people to do things. If they do not see the need and are not motivated to take action, so be it. However, I don’t recall my mother asking me whether I wanted to go to grade school or not. I guess some things you just have to do.
Internships: Associations and manufacturers should implement and coordinate an extensive international internship program. Interns could work for any number of participating companies around the country (and around the world) for three, six or 12 months. This would be very appealing to someone considering a career in the green industry.
Continuing education: The New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers University has an excellent program for educating future and current green industry professionals. Classes such as those at NJAES help contractors keep current with both business and technical trends. We need more programs like NJAES.
It takes an industry: Associations, contractors, manufacturers, distributors, vendors, legislators, consultants, colleges and schools should all work together to create a mentoring program specifically designed to entice the next generation to consider a career in the green industry and to develop them in a wholistic manner to meet the challenges that they and the green industry will face.
Succession planning: Too many contractors do not have a clear plan as to what to do with their company once they reach the end of their careers. Associations need to facilitate the succession planning process.
JIM HUSTON runs J.R. Huston Consulting, a green industry consulting firm. See www.jrhuston.biz; mail firstname.lastname@example.org.