Creating a mutually beneficial internship program

It’s no secret that labor continues to be a challenge in the greenhouse industry. Not only is it difficult to find employees to work on transplant lines and in shipping, but it is also a challenge to find new employees to move through the ranks to become the future leaders of your company. According to Greenhouse Grower’s State of the Industry report, most greenhouse operation owners are over age 55 (65%). Some greenhouse owners are Reprint with permission from the preparing succession plans for author(s) of this e-GRO Alert. Their children, while others are putting their businesses up for sale or selling to real estate firms where the land is highly valuable. Particularly within the last year, I have seen many shake-ups in greenhouse businesses in west Michigan. How can you, as a business owner or manager, prepare yourself for the future? How do you ensure that there’s a pipeline of new talent and passion coming into the business? Internships! Yes, hosting interns can be time-consuming, but hopefully, you can recruit a bright, fresh person into the industry, and maybe even your business.

What’s in it for you?
Interns at your business can provide the opportunity to have additional help and maybe even complete a special project that has been put on the back burner for too long. You can showcase your business and even expose a student to other aspects of the greenhouse industry. Their fresh minds are receptive to new information and are eager to learn from those with more experience.


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