Charleston, WV (WOAY) – State and federal economic statistics show West Virginia’s nursery and landscape industry and related employment have grown and will continue to expand through 2026.
Julie Robinson, Executive Director of the West Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association (WVNLA), states, “WVNLA leaders and member companies have taken a proactive approach to grow the industry, to help complement the emphasis on outdoor recreation and related economic development throughout West Virginia.”
WVNLA’s workforce development and scholarship support across the Mountain State are helping boost the green economy and enhance the pipeline of talented nursery and landscaping workers and entrepreneurs.
According to Emsi data, jobs in nurseries and landscapes grew by six percent from 2016 to 2021. She added that Emsi projects a four percent growth for the industry between now and 2026.
Emsi data is a hybrid dataset derived from official government sources such as the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Workforce development initiatives will take center stage at the association’s Winter Symposium, “Growing A Great Landscape,” from 9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. on February 22 at the Embassy Suites in Charleston.
Robinson said WVNLA has been working on multiple levels to attract and develop green industry employees:
· crafting a “Landscape Technician Boot Camp,” a 40-hour course to be offered at the state’s nine community and technical colleges.
· developing a lawn and landscape training course through the National Guard to present to Jobs & Hope participants and WVNLA member companies as a training resource,
· making presentations to high school agriculture and career and tech students, and
· creating videos and presentation materials.
For more information, visit wvnla.org.