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Landscape students attend national networking events

Six landscape/horticulture technology students and a Pennsylvania College of Technology faculty member recently traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, for a pair of prominent industry events.

The Penn College group attended the Green Industry & Equipment Expo (GIE+EXPO), the nation’s largest trade show in that field, and LANDSCAPES 2018, a premier networking and educational conference.

Students in the Penn College horticulture/landscape technology group traveling to Louisville, Kentucky, for the Green Industry & Equipment Expo and LANDSCAPES 2018, a premier networking and educational conference, undergo a flurry of interviews during fast-paced roundtable meetings with employers.
Students in the Penn College horticulture/landscape technology group traveling to Louisville, Ky., for the Green Industry & Equipment Expo and LANDSCAPES 2018, a premier networking and educational conference, undergo a flurry of interviews during fast-paced roundtable meetings with employers.

Students accompanying Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture, were William X. DeMarco, of Glen Mills; James S. Essig, of Bernville; Joseph A. Kern, of Mechanicsburg; Kendra M. Snyder, of Montoursville; Evan G. Velez, of Mohnton; and Kendall A. Wanner, of Denver, Pa. All are enrolled in the program’s landscape emphasis.

“It’s wonderful to be able to take students to an event like this,” Bower said. “It opens their eyes to the size of our industry, but it still shows them that, as large as the industry is,  they are still able to network with the biggest leaders – and business owners out there – and that they are interested in what the students have to offer.”

Many of those attending were particularly fond of the professional roundtables, an opportunity for the Penn College students (and their counterparts from other horticulture programs) to meet with industry leaders in a “speed-dating type” of environment.  Students circulated among 23 employers from across the U.S. in the fast-paced activity, moving from table to table every 10 minutes to talk to employers about their companies and essentially be interviewed in the process.

“It is a surreal feeling to know you are walking around a convention with leaders in our industry/field,” DeMarco said. “Just to be able to share that experience and get to talk to these leaders is eye-opening, and will leave a lasting impact on my thoughts on horticulture.”

From left: James S. Essig, of Bernville; Kendra M. Snyder, of Montoursville; Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture; Evan G. Velez, of Mohnton; Joseph A. Kern, of Mechanicsburg; William X. DeMarco, of Glen Mills; and Kendall A. Wanner, of Denver, Pa.
From left: James S. Essig, of Bernville; Kendra M. Snyder, of Montoursville; Carl J. Bower Jr., assistant professor of horticulture; Evan G. Velez, of Mohnton; Joseph A. Kern, of Mechanicsburg; William X. DeMarco, of Glen Mills; and Kendall A. Wanner, of Denver, Pa.

The annual gathering is sponsored by the National Association of Landscape Professionals, through which Penn College’s program is accredited; the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute Inc.; and the Professional Grounds Management Society.

“A very informative meeting with some of the most successful businesses in the industry,” Essig concurred, adding that the roundtable discussions were “perhaps the best part of the GIE+EXPO.”

The students weren’t the only ones to benefit: Bower networked with more than 20 faculty colleagues from across the country, discussing their respective programs and the state of the industry.

For more about landscape/horticulture majors in Penn College’s School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies, call 570-327-4516.

For information about the college, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Photos provided

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