In March 2019, DynaSCAPE sponsored the National Collegiate Landscape Competition – Joe Salemi was there to scope out the up-and-comers of the landscape industry, and recap the event highlights.

Above is just a small sample of the audience in attendance for the Closing Ceremonies

One of the biggest issues affecting the professional landscape industry right now is access to quality people, and often it seems like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel; that is, until you experience the National Collegiate Landscape Competition. As a four-day event with over 1,200 students, faculty, and industry leaders collaborating across workshops, professional development series, networking events, a career fair, and competitions, you leave with the feeling that the industry is going to be just fine. I’ve now had the opportunity to experience this event for six consecutive years, and each year it continues to get bigger. In fact, if you don’t book your hotel early and/or secure your registration, there just might not be any room at the inn for you.

DynaSCAPE’s Joe Salemi oversees the Landscape Design competition, and offers technical help as needed.

Many industry-related sponsors invest a significant amount of time, effort and money because students are our future industry leaders, and they want early (and regular) exposure to these young professionals. DynaSCAPE isn’t any different; in fact, we have a strong academic program with our landscape design software being taught in 61 of the 68 schools that participated.

For professional landscape companies that haven’t been to this amazing event, but are looking for quality, young people to join their organizations, here’s some inside information:

  • Secure a lead or assistant sponsorship for a competition;
  • Book a booth at the Career Fair;
  • Build relationships with your local college or university, and get to know the department heads and instructors;
  • Sponsor your local participating school’s t-shirt (they wear them all week long!); and,
  • Attend the networking events like the Industry/Faculty Reception.

We know these students are serious about their futures not only because of the amazing work they’re producing, but also because they commit to the event during Spring Break. While thousands of their friends are vacationing and taking a break from school for the week, these bright and dedicated young people are focused on building a pathway to success for their future careers.

The Student Career Fair can get quite busy, but is by far the best place to snag your next landscape professional.

While most people imagine relaxing during Spring Break, these students are hard at work during the Planting Install competition.

Even if you’re only mildly considering participating in the National Collegiate Landscape Competition by either helping with a competition or in the career fair, I strongly suggest planning for it now. Landscape companies big and small were at the career fair looking for young professionals to intern and join their teams. There is no other event in North America that even comes close in size and scope for the future leaders of the landscape industry.

Click here to see pictures and final results of the 2019 competition.

Click here for more information on the National Collegiate Landscape Competition in 2020.