Workforce Summit

March 1-3, 2020
Hilton Alexandria Old Town | Alexandria, VA

The landscape industry is experiencing a workforce crisis. No amount of action from any individual company will solve this problem. It is time for industry professionals to work together to identify solutions to this crippling challenge. The competition is no longer the landscape contractor down the street but employers from other industries that are upping the ante to attract the talent they need. The landscape industry needs to confront long-standing assumptions and break the mold of tried and true hiring and work practices. This Summit will host two days of dialogues that will explore big picture topics and incite industry action.

Schedule at a Glance

Sunday, March 1, 2020 (click here to expand)

6:00 pm-7:00 pm

Early Arrivers Meet and Greet Happy Hour

Location TBD (non-hosted)

Monday, March 2, 2020 (click here to expand)

7:00 am
 8:15 am-9:30 am

Opening Keynote Session - Fully Staffed: Finding and Keeping Employees in the Worst Labor Market Ever

Eric Chester, renowned workforce development authority, former landscape professional and author of the upcoming book Fully Staffed: Finding and Keeping Employees in the Worst Labor Market Ever, will share findings from his research on where today’s most innovative companies are finding seasonal and entry level employees what they’re doing to retain unskilled workers. 

Registration Opens (Grand Ballroom Foyer)


7:00 am-8:00 am

Continental Breakfast (Grand Ballroom Foyer)


8:00 am-8:15 am


Jennifer Myers, Senior Director, Workforce Development
National Association of Landscape Professionals

Andrew Bray, Vice President, Government Relations
National Association of Landscape Professionals

 8:15 am-9:30 am
9:30 am-10:45 am

Attracting the Talent - What's an Industry to Do?

The landscape industry, like most other industries in America, cannot find enough people to grow – and even sustain – their businesses. This session will look at how other professions are responding to the nationwide workforce shortage to shine a light on what the landscape industry should be considering. The 2019 version of this session was one of the most talked about programs at last year’s Summit as it showcased the importance of landscape contractors working proactively together. We will then take a deep dive look at what NALP is doing, through its Industry Growth Initiative, to address the industry’s workforce shortage.

Cindy Sheridan, CAE, Chief Operating Officer
PHCC Educational Foundation

Tadar Muhammad, Senior Vice President of Workforce Development 
Home Builders Institute

 Jan Bray, Senior Advisor
National Association of Workforce Boards

Jennifer Myers, Senior Director, Workforce Development
National Association of Landscape Professionals

10:45 am-11:00 am

 11:00 am-12:00 pm

Creating a Culture of Diversity and Inclusion

Most companies would likely say they welcome a more diverse workforce, but they don’t know how to get the diversity they seek. This session, based on NALP’s new Diversity and Inclusion program, will provide the framework and lenses for looking at your company differently to attract and retain communities of people currently under-represented. We will navigate difficult discussions including what systemic changes need to be made to attract women to entry level field positions and executive roles and how to attract a workforce that more closely resembles society. Through facts, stats, testimonials and best practice examples we will explore the benefits of breaking down existing barriers that may restrict the ability to attract the best and brightest to the field.

Sarah Anderson, Senior Manager, Tree Equity Programs
American Forests


12:00 pm-1:15 pm

Luncheon Keynote Presentation

A representative from the Department of Labor has been invited to offer insight into what forward-thinking employers need to be doing to navigate today’s challenging labor market.

1:15 pm-2:15 pm

Success Stories: Using the Landscape Management Apprenticeship Program to Attract Talent

The Landscape Management Apprenticeship Program debuted in February 2019. Now, one year later, learn how industry companies are using the program – what’s working for attracting apprentices, how they are managing the program within their companies, what lessons they can pass along, and how doors are opening because of the program.

Jennifer Myers, Senior Director, Workforce Development
National Association of Landscape Professionals

Luke Scott, President
L.G. Scott Landscaping and Tree Service 

Angela M. Barr, Administrative Manager
Eichenlaub, Inc.

2:15 pm-3:15 pm

Success Stories: How Contractors are Spurring Educators to Promote the Profession

Companies across the industry are beginning to open doors in their local communities with educators – driving interest in the profession and creating effective partnerships between schools, students, and industry. Learn what’s been impactful by those who are doing it right to learn how to create meaningful change for the profession in your town. 

Mark Hopkins, Regional Vice President

Brigitte Orrick, Director of Recruiting and Employee Development
The Davey Tree Expert Company

3:15 pm-3:30 pm

3:30 pm-4:30 pm

Evolution of Automowers – Solving the Labor Gap & More 

Some landscape professionals have found success in addressing their workforce needs by utilizing automated mowers.
An industry-leading landscape contractor will share the story of how they have rolled out their fleet of robotic mowers, including internal and external benefits, preparation and testing, considerations for job sites, pricing structure, marketing/branding, impact on job hours, and more.  

Frank Mariani, Owner
Mariani Landscape

4:30 pm-5:30 pm

Tactical Teachings for Hiring Today’s Young People

Like it or not, you may need to accept helicopter-parenting and win-over a teen’s parents and grandparents in the hiring process. You may need to ask what pronouns a teen would prefer to use (and beware – there are more than him and her). Your responsiveness to resume submissions may need to be more like attracting a customer than an employee, with digital and timely responsiveness, 24/7. Hiring needs to be done differently today than it was done a generation or two ago – or even a year or two ago. This session will offer insight into what young people demand from today’s recruitment process and explore how current practices may need to change to attract the best and the brightest.

Tyler Bloom, Director of Grounds/Facilities
Sparrows Point Country Club

5:30 pm-7:00 pm


7:30 pm-9:30 pm

IGI Donor Appreciation Reception (Nationals Park—Invitation Only)


Tuesday, March 3, 2020 (click here to expand)

8:00 am-9:30 am

Breakfast and Roundtable Discussions

One of the most valuable parts of any conference experience is the chance to get your most pressing questions answered with the advice and support of peers. Don’t miss this opportunity! Participate in sessions including:

  • Effective Interviewing and Hiring Practices
  • Women in Landscape
  • African Americans in Landscape
  • Colleges and Contractors: Effective Partnerships
  • Creating a Presence with Workforce Development Boards
  • How to Set Up an Effective Internship Program
  • Effective Messaging About the Profession
  • Working with Local FFA Chapters
  • Launching the Landscape Management Apprenticeship Program ™
  • How to Work with Local Schools
  • The Best Idea I Ever Had for Recruiting...
  • Creating a Company Culture that Welcomes Employees from Day One
  • Effective Career Day Events
  • Replicating NCLC with High School Students
  • Attracting Veterans to the Landscape Workforce
  • Career Laddering
  • Move Over Millennials – It’s All About Gen Z Now
  • The Future of Work – Future-scaping Tomorrow’s Workforce
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of E-Verify
  • Workforce Development Grab Bag
9:30 am-10:30 am

The Future of Work

In light of today’s country-wide workforce shortage, leading researchers and think tanks are spending a great deal of time exploring the future of work and what companies need to do to survive in today’s cut-throat hiring environment. This final keynote presentation will offer concluding thoughts to round out the Summit’s exploration of how the industry can best respond to today’s workforce crisis before it becomes tomorrow’s catastrophe.


10:30 am-12:00 pm

Deep Dive Discussions and Wrap Up

This session asks attendees to delve into the “big” issues. Participants will determine the topics to be covered based on “aha” moments during the Summit but are expected to include:

  • What can the industry to do to attract labor?
  • How can we reduce dependency on labor?
  • African Americans in Landscape
  • How can the industry work more collaboratively together to solve the workforce crisis?
  • How can women’s voices be better welcomed into corporate culture?
  • How to Set Up an Effective Internship Program
  • How can the industry better engage with career and technical education organizations?
  • What changes does the industry need to consider to become an employer of choice?
12:00 pm-1:00 pm

Optional “Dutch Treat” Lunches

The Women in Landscape Network, African Americans in Landscape Network and Young Professionals in Landscape Network welcome those who would like to continue the dialogues to gather for "dutch treat" lunch outings.


Member Price- $399
Non-Member Price- $599

What People Are Saying...

This is not the standard stuff that you get at some of these events. It’s really fresh new perspectives…"

Krisjan Berzins, Kingstowne Lawn and Landscape

Platinum Sponsors

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding the event, please contact Amy Easterday.