It’s a great time to be young and working toward a career in the green industry. Well, it’s a great thing to be young regardless – considering my age anyway. But for students seeking a rewarding career that provides valuable environmental services in the great outdoors, the landscape trade offers incredible opportunities. In my opinion, this is probably more so now than anytime in the past generation. (More on that in a bit.)universityofnewhampshirestudents

Those were my thoughts-some of them admittedly envious-as I watched a group of about 10 young men and women build a patio at the Techo-Bloc display on the show floor of the New England Grows several weeks ago. The students from the Thompson School of Applied Science worked under the instruction of Bill Gardocki, a landscape business owner with more than 40 years construction experience.

Gardocki and his wife Gail founded Interstate Landscape Co., Inc., Londonderry, New Hampshire in 1981. Their son, Tom, literally grew up in the business and, after graduating from the School 2009, joined his parents in the business. The Gardocki family is a giving family, heavily involved in their community, even as they run their successful landscape business – and Bill serves as instructor for the Thompson School’s landscape construction program.

The Thompson School of Applied Science was founded in 1895 by the legislators of New Hampshire. It is located on the campus of The University of New Hampshire, Bill’s alma mater. The School integrates classroom instruction with in-the-field experience, i. e. “learn by doing,” in offering associate degrees in a range of trades.thompsonschoolofappliedsciencejpg

As I mentioned at the beginning of this short piece, I think it’s a great time for young people to consider a career in the green industry. There will be an increasing need for new energy and fresh ideas in improving or, in some cases, restoring our urban landscapes. The environmental aspects of the green industry will only continue to grow.

From a business standpoint, just about every established, successful landscape company that I know is dying to attract new talent – folks that are willing to learn, desirous of assuming responsibility and possessing good people skills. So much the better if they can also bring technical skills to their employers.

Now that the economy is improving and with several years of solid of growth ahead for the green industry, this is a great time for smart young adults to prepare themselves for very rewarding careers.