Water restrictions, pesticide regulations and fertilizer bans: these are just a few of the challenges superintendents face on a daily basis. Labor, however, may be the most difficult aspect of the superintendent's role currently. Whether it's finding individuals to fill out their crew, or bring in a qualified assistant superintendent, tracking down the right person with a passion for the industry has proven difficult over recent years.
These individuals are out there, and many will begin their careers this spring. Late last week, I was invited to speak with students at Michigan State University who are enrolled in the Golf Turf Management Certificate program. During the hour, I was able to discuss current trends within the industry and stress the importance of continuing education, association involvement and networking with your peers. I was also able to discuss with students various initiatives GCSAA is spearheading to assist them as they enter the workforce that will benefit them throughout their career.
I was impressed with the professionalism the students displayed, as well as their involvement in the industry. I was asked poignant and direct questions about how they can take advantage of their GCSAA membership to continue their education and distinguish themselves as they apply for AIT, second assistant and assistant superintendent positions. All students in the class will be attending the Golf Industry Show next month, not only to compete in the GCSAA Collegiate Turf Bowl Competition but also to attend education sessions, work the student booth area on the trade show floor and network with potential employers.
If you're looking for an assistant superintendent or an individual who is passionate about turfgrass to join your team, please plan on visiting with members at the student booth area on the trade show floor. Not only will it align you with a soon-to-be-graduating turfgrass professional, it will allow you the opportunity to act as a mentor to one who is truly passionate about the industry.