Welcome Landscape Industry Certified professionals!
Stay informed about what’s happening in the world of certification by reading Inside Certification. Remember to keep us informed if your email or mailing address has changed. And recertify by the good-through date on your wallet card to remain active and in good standing. Thank you for staying on top of your certification.
If your PLANET certification good-through date on your wallet card is December 31, 2011, you are due to recertify by this date. However, many are choosing to recertify earlier. Please feel free to submit your CEU Submission Form to PLANET now through the end of the year and check this important certification maintenance item off your to-do list.
To recertify, you’ll need to report 24 CEUs earned during 2010 and 2011. There are many options that count toward CEUs, from reading green industry or job-related publications to attending in-house training, events, and webinars. Use the Recertification Requirements Sheet as your guide to earning CEUs and filling out your CEU Submission Form.
For more information on recertification, visit the Recertification Center, contact PLANET’s certification team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (800) 395-2522. Please note that if your good-through date is 2010 or earlier, we request you contact the certification team immediately to get reinstated.
Add a little mustard, ketchup, a pickle or two, and some cheese; throw in some French fries, and a plain hamburger is suddenly transformed into a special experience. That’s the culinary comparison BYU-Provo faculty member Phil Allen, Ph.D., Landscape Industry Certified Manager, makes with his students who graduate with Landscape Industry Certified Manager credentials. In fact, over the last few years, 45 BYU-Provo students have had this special experience, counting the nine who passed the exam this year.
“These students put in the extra work by taking classes that align with the subject matter in sections of the Landscape Industry Certified Manager’s exam, and they pour over the study material either by themselves or in study groups,” Allen relates. “It’s worth the effort in several ways, not the least of which is making them more marketable in the green industry.”
His students agree. Seniors Beth Hansen and Trenton Spratling — both PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF) 2011 scholarship recipients — are two of the nine BYU-Provo students who passed the exam this year. “I took the exam because I wanted to take every opportunity to further my education and have a step up on other students who may be competing in the marketplace with me,” says Hansen. Adds Spratling: “Studying for and taking the exam gave me a better understanding of the industry and what a future employer will expect from me.”
Both students majored in Landscape Management. Hansen wants to find a career in plant health care but says that no matter where she ends up, she wants to be happy with her choice. Spratling’s goal, in his words, is to “become the best landscaper I can possibly be.” Their course of study at BYU-Provo and certification will get them pointed in the right direction. Along with their peers who also took the exam this year, they are leaving behind an important legacy for other students — a study guide to help them prepare for the exam.
Adds Allen: “Our program is designed to align student learning experience with industry standards. Preparing for the Landscape Industry Certified Manager’s exam is an important part of this experience, and we also give students the opportunity to become ISA certified and receive their CDL prior to graduation. In addition, our program will reimburse for any other national certification.”
As he emphasizes, offering the Landscape Industry Certified Manager’s exam and providing other tools and resources translates into exceptional value for the students and the companies that retain their services.
EXTRA-EXTRA … You can catch Phil Allen at the Green Industry Conference this year giving a fast-paced, Landscape Industry Certified Manager exam mini-prep session, October 27, 2011, at the Kentucky Expo Center from 3 to 4:15 p.m.
For the last 14 years, the third Saturday in September has been a special day for the Scheibe family in Wisconsin. It’s certification test day. Barb Scheibe, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Landscape Contractors Association (WLCA), administers the Landscape Industry Certified Technician exam. Her husband Marsh, owner of Scheibe & Scheibe Landscape Contractors, is the Judge Technical Advisor (JTA), and daughters Dawn and Diane keep time and proctor the exam, respectively.
Just how does one family get so involved in certification? It all started in 1995, when the WLCA Board of Directors sent two groups to California to observe the landscape technician test. As Executive Director, Barb was included in the group that would oversee the testing. The other group was composed of the WLCA president and representatives from the school that would hold the test.
Says Barb, “The committee was very impressed with what they saw and so was I. It was a very thorough test, one that would benefit our members. I also thought that judging the truck and trailer problem would be one my husband would like. We went to the Illinois inaugural test about six weeks before our inaugural test. Marsh observed the truck and trailer problem, and I got to see again just how the test day unfolded.”
Marsh missed his opportunity to judge truck and trailer because the test revision removed the problem. Instead, he became a JTA. He was also a PLANET observer/auditor, now having attended more than 15 tests from California to New York. “You know how Dr. Seuss wrote, ‘Oh! The Places You'll Go!’” adds Barb. “Well, Marsh could write the book, ‘Oh the certification tests I have gone to.’ He would be the first person to say that his involvement has been worth every minute. He has made tons of friends, learned from other association tests, and shared his expertise. One never knows where a simple agreement to help out will lead.”
As the first test day approached, Barb knew she could never complete all the paperwork by herself. So, she brought in two reinforcements, Dawn, who had helped out with previous projects, and Diane, who, among other duties, ensured that JTA’s turned in their score sheets in a timely manner.
Now, 15 years later, the Scheibe’s remain the WLCA certification family. “The weeks prior to the event are hectic and we eat a lot of McDonald’s burgers,” says Barb. “But, test day flows smoothly. We have been so blessed with great judges, some of whom have been with us since our first test. We have been blessed with members who continue to support the program, and we have been blessed that PLANET continues to offer this psychometrically evaluated test and continues to update it as needed. In the meantime, our three grandsons have grown up, and perhaps one day, they will be at the test site with us.”
Barb forgot to mention that she has traveled with her husband to nearly every test he has observed. As a registered nurse, she also serves as the official nurse at the WLCA test site.
The certification family received a piece of good news in April when it learned WLCA was awarded a $21,250 Wisconsin Workforce Development Grant to provide training for certification candidates. The training sessions, to be held at Milwaukee Area Technical College and Fox Valley Technical College, will accommodate 75 candidates each.
Oh, the places you can go and the things you can accomplish, all with the common goal to promote the professionalism of the green industry.
Does certification really matter to clients? That’s the question Tim Saunders, Landscape Industry Certified Technician, Business Development Manager for California-based Benchmark Landscape, asked himself this spring. The question held even broader meaning for him since he is the San Diego Local Committee Chair for the technician test.
“PLANET’s certification program is a great training experience for employees and an important way for companies to differentiate themselves,” says Saunders. “But it has always been a challenge to convey the real value of certification to clients. I wanted to do something to help get the word out to customers everywhere that certification holds incredible value to them. I wanted to somehow convey the value of certification, how difficult it is to achieve, and create a sense of desire among clients.” The vehicle of choice to convey this message, he thought, could be a short video. The California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA) agreed, and today customers and landscape professionals alike can actually view the meaning of certification online in a 3½-minute video.
The video was recorded on April 2, test day in San Diego. Appearing in the video are four personalities. An HOA Board member talks about the value of retaining a company that employs Landscape Industry Certified Technicians. A landscape contractor discusses the value of certification as an important training tool. Also appearing is a CLCA volunteer in charge of educational support to the industry who reviews a history of the test and the test process, along with a state committee volunteer. He puts the certification program in perspective, as a way for the industry to continue to challenge itself. In the background, viewers can see snippets of the test being administered to candidates, and the dynamic process of the test site preparation.
As Saunders relates, the video targets three audiences. The first, of course, are commercial and residential customers who may not be aware of PLANET’s certification program or who may not truly understand its value. Green industry service providers that don’t already participate in the certification program comprise another audience segment, as do employees within companies who may be on the certification fence.
“We have 30 Landscape Industry Certified Technicians in our company, a number that includes every production manager,” says Saunders. “Showing the video to employees will help explain why certification is a requisite for this position and encourage them to take the test and become certified.”
As this certification advocate points out, awareness is the key to making certification a true differentiator. To raise local awareness, CLCA has placed articles in state publications and even set up tours during certification tests that provide an in-person view of the process. The video will be the next best thing to being there. Unlike the tour, however, it will be made available to virtually anyone anywhere in the country who has access to a computer.
To access and watch the video first-hand, please click on the links below.
Are you ready to take your career to the next level? If so, taking and passing PLANET’s new lawn care technician exam is an important first step. Subject matter experts involved in exam development say this new certification is a fair measure of an individual’s ability to perform competently in the field — a recognition that’s good for technicians, their companies and customers, and the industry.
The exam is scheduled to launch this summer. More information will be available soon. If you are interested in taking the new lawn care technician exam, please email the PLANET certification team at email@example.com and ask to be put on the candidate sign-up list.
Did you know that you can earn CEUs toward your recertification by attending PLANET events such as Renewal & Remembrance and Legislative Day on the Hill (communications training and legislative briefings) and the Green Industry Conference (PGMS and HNA educational sessions also qualify toward PLANET recertification)? Attendees are eligible to earn 1 CEU per hour of education attended toward PLANET recertification. For more information on recertification, please visit PLANET’s Recertification Center.
Send us your newsworthy stories and experiences on how your certification has helped generate business, given you a professional edge, or made a difference in your career.
Let us know how you use your certification to market your company. We would like updates on your professional activities — have you spoken at an event, written articles, or won local or national awards
Contact Karen Barnett with your certification news today.
From March 10, 2011 to June 14, 2011, the following individuals earned their PLANET certification:
Landscape Industry Certified Manager – Exterior (formerly CLP-E)
William B. Bourne, Jr., Bourne Mowing, Adams, TN
Kevin W. DeNardo, Bland Landscaping Co., Inc., Apex, NC
Ibrahim M. El-Araby, Citiscape, Glen Burnie, MD
Sally Madadian, Gothic Grounds Management, Valencia, CA
Chapman Manzer, Manzer's Landscape Design & Development, Inc., Peekskill, NY
Christopher D. Moushey, The Davey Tree Expert Co., Chantilly, VA
Richard Painter, Superior Lawn Care, New Stanton, PA
Guy Wallace, City of San Carlos, San Carlos, CA
Damon Williams, Sun City Hilton Head, Beaufort, SC
Landscape Industry Certified Technician – Exterior (formerly CLT-E)
Ernesto Alatorre, Santa Ana, CA
Carlos Montalvo, Escondido, CA
Mark Morgan, Santa Ana, CA
Juan Rodriguez, Temecula, CA
Jorge Sanchez, San Diego, CA
Stephen Verastigue, San Diego, CA
Abel Cazares, Riverside, CA
Veronica Cruz, Poway, CA
Ruben Garcia, Jr., National City, CA
Chuck Hanna, San Diego, CA
Roberto Juarez, San Diego, CA
Alberto Mejia, San Diego, CA
Jose Mercado, Chula Vista, CA
Dave Milton, Poway, CA
Kyle B. Roper, Vista, CA
Alfredo Sanchez, San Diego, CA
Mark Shedenhelm, San Diego, CA
Colton Templeton, Lakeside, CA
Jody Towe, San Diego, CA
Robert Vasilieff, Carlsbad, CA
Everardo Vidaca Diaz, Escondido, CA
Ulyana Kuzmycz, Vista, CA
Mark Mazalewski, Lakeside, CA
Jorge Sanchez, San Diego, CA
Carlos Contreras, Lakeside, CA
Salvador Soriano, Jr., Lemon Grove, CA
Ron Ubrun, Riverside, CA
Antonio Valadez, Garden Grove, CA
Landscape Industry Certified Horticultural Technician (formerly COLP)
Carl Bower, Jr., Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport, PA
Amelia Collins, Clip, Inc. dba Total Lawn Care Services, Tupelo, MS
Kim Davidson, Estate Gardeners, Inc., Omaha, NE
Ginger Knapp, Tongue Point Job Corps., Astoria, OR
Victor M. Montana, Fairway Green, Inc., Dover, NJ
Brandon Murray, Scotts LawnService, Merriam, KS
Landscape Industry Certified Interior Technician (formerly CLT-I)
Sharon Sonntag, Plant Interscapes, Inc., Dallas, TX
Landscape Industry Certified Lawn Care Manager (formerly CTP)
Tulio Bertani, Córdoba, Veracruz, Mexico
William Turner Campbell, III, Marana, AZ
Cary Allen Cardwell, Sunbelt Lawn Care, LLC, Moultrie, GA
Christopher William Chamberlain, Romulus, MI
Eddie Conker, Mcdonough, GA
Bruce Alan Hagen, City of Grand Junction - Parks Department, Grand Junction, CO
John Hymer, Alamogordo, NM
Timothy M. Landsperger, Iowa Western Community College, Blair, NE
Bradley Thomas Mitchell, The Fockele Garden Co., Dawsonville, GA
Eddie Leroy Mort, City of Grand Junction - Parks Department, Grand Junction, CO
Brian D. Ranson, Ranson Brothers, Inc., Port Charlotte, FL
Matthew Thomas, AgriLawn, Inc., Oklahoma City, OK
José Joaquín Unda Usaola, Etxaguen, Álava, Spain
Matthew Robert Uveges, The Toro Co., Anoka, MN
Keith Patrick Wallace, Central Regional School District, Bayville, NJ
Landscape Industry Certified Lawn Care Technician (formerly CTP-CSL)
Jeffery L. Barlow, Lueders Environmental, Inc., Providence, RI
Norman Daley, Lueders Environmental, Inc., Franklin, MA
Sarah Eilers, Bozeman Tree Service, Inc., Bozeman, MT
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