By Allison Wright
It’s an exciting time on Maui. For the second time in almost a decade, the Maui Association of Landscape Professionals sponsored certification testing in Ornamental Maintenance. In the short span of the year, this program has proven successful. I continually receive comments on the program and am asked when the next sessions are to start. This program in ornamental maintenance serves a reminder of the basic safety training all employees need in the field. It is also becoming a more common requirement in contract negotiations and job descriptions as Maui employers, community associations and contractors become aware of the existence of Landscape Industry Certified Technicians. I know of at least 2 of last year’s candidates who were employed by local organizations prior to receiving their certifications and are now in positions of authority at local resorts and hotels.
In 2014, we were able to certify 16 candidates. The class of 2015 began with 18 students, all of whom attended our 6-week course, which culminated in the field test on Saturday, September 12. By the end of the day, 8 candidates were certified in Ornamental Maintenance, with several others just a few points away. By the end of our re-testing day, we were able to certify several more.
The new LICTs in Ornamental Maintenance from Maui’s test days are:
- Brian Anderson, SGS Hawaii Landscape Mangement
- Alan J. Davidson, Aloha Botanicals Maui
- Torsten Erikson, MauiScapes, LLC
- Daniele Luppi, Maui 100% Green, LLC
- Thomas Nielesky
- Joshua Spalding, Imua Landscaping Company, Inc
- Allen Griffin, Mulkern Landscaping and Nursery
- Sean Strouse
This program would not be possible without the tireless work of several people. Along with myself, the committee for Maui’s LICT Training program included Kevin Gavagan, Four Seasons Resort, Maui, Elaine Malina, SGS Hawaii Landscape Management and Peter Hehemann, He-Man Services. In addition to the committee, the majority of our field test judges were our 2014 LICT recipients. Our classroom program has provided insights into the core elements of the tests. This year, we would like to thank the following instructors: Bill Mitchell, Hawaii Land Design; Max Bolor, LICT, Four Seasons Maui; Kevin Gavagan, Four Seasons Maui, Elaine Malina, SGS Hawaii Landscape Management; Chris Baker, LICT, Island Plant Company and Terry Nutt, A Nutt Nursery.
As always, sponsors provide unequaled support for this program. A generous sponsorship from the Maui County Office of Economic Development in 2014 allowed us to purchase the majority of our field test supplies, most of which was used again in this year’s testing, and will be used in the many years to come. He-Man Services supplied new power equipment for all field test stations. Ann Emmsley, Program Coordinator at the University of Hawaii, Maui College, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, provided a fantastic space for our field test. Other generous sponsors included: Four Seasons, Maui, Hawaii Grower Products, HISCO, Honua Kai Resort & Spa, Island Plant Company, LLC, and SGS Hawaii Landscape Management.
In the coming years, we hope to expand our program to include additional certifications. We are also working to expand our relationship with the Office of Economic Development to bring more credentials to Maui’s workforce.
Allison Wright is a Maintenance Superintendent for Island Plant Company, LLC, serves as President for Maui Association of Landscape Professionals, and is a co-owner of Valhalla Flower Farm, LLC.