Horticulture and Natural Resource Agent
The South Carolina Certified Landscape Professional Program (SCCLP) is an online, self-paced certification program that provides high-level horticultural education and training to green industry professionals and operators. The program launched in 2020 and has offered spring and fall courses for the last three years. Over 385 professionals have been certified and represent nearly every county in the state. Starting in April of 2023, the course will go fully on-demand to better serve the professionals’ needs.
The course has also been incorporated into the Spartanburg Community College’s Horticulture Capstone course, providing a model for other colleges to integrate the SCCLP into their horticulture programs. We are also in the process of bringing the program to high school classrooms. The goal of the high-school integration is to grow the green industry’s shrinking workforce pool. Clemson Extension also partnered with the SC Department of Corrections, where 37 soon-to-be-released inmates were certified and were given trade skills to renter the workforce. The program will continue if funding is available to further add to the workforce pool.
The significant impact of this program has been its ability to reach a large audience relatively quickly. Many folks have asked if the state requires the certification, but we tell them we hope it will become so ubiquitous that it doesn’t need to be a requirement by law but by demand by the consumer and hiring managers.
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