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Strong Workforce Stars

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Merritt College
Landscape Design and Maintenance Program

CTE Star Employment in field of study

Merritt College earned Strong Workforce Stars recognition in the Agriculture, Water, and Environmental Technologies sector for its Landscape Design and Maintenance program; 100% of students who participate in this program get a job in their field of study.

The program attributes this success, in part, to a simple but highly impactful strategy -- a job board. For decades, the Landscape Design and Maintenance program has maintained an effective system for fielding opportunities that come in from private homeowners, regional companies and city agencies looking for skilled landscapers. Co-chair Chris Grampp reports that the program intakes more than 50 job requests each week, providing students ample opportunity to secure work. Dedicated faculty with significant professional experience and robust employer relationships fuel these ongoing community connections and ensure that what students experience in the classroom directly reflects what they will find on the job. Grampp shares, “It’s not abstract. We do a good job aligning the department with what students will encounter after graduation.”

Grampp also attributes students’ employment success to the students themselves, noting, “A lot of students come to us with work experience; they have set up their own practice or they are career changers who realize they need more skills; they are really directed.” The program regularly collects feedback from participants through surveys and forums to ensure the curriculum and instructional approach meets them where they are and helps them reach their goals.

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