Monmouth County Vocational School District launches greenskeeper apprenticeship

The Monmouth County Vocational School District has launched a greenskeeper and turf management apprenticeship program, it announced Thursday.

The program is for students in the landscaping and turf management program at the MCVSD Career Center.

“This program shows that there is success when everyone comes together to work together and invest in our children’s future,” Robert Asaro Angelo, state labor commissioner, said.  “Having employers at the table and having all of government here — the county, the parks department, the state, the school district — shows why apprenticeship is going to be successful.”

Approved by the U.S. Department of Labor, the program will provide paid, on the job training at various Monmouth County Parks Commission golf courses this summer. Students will be able to earn an apprenticeship certification.

“This program represents the best in collaboration and innovation — an opportunity to provide a pathway that is not only a postsecondary credential but also has on and off-ramps,” Dr. Linda Eno, an assistant commissioner of the state Department of Education, said. “This is an opportunity to get employed and earn while you continue to learn.”

The first of its kind in New Jersey, the program is also said to be the only in the United States, according to Nathan Kraemer, principal of the Monmouth Career Center.

“The creation of the greenskeeper and turf management apprenticeship at the MCVSD Career Center will become the blueprint to develop and implement future apprenticeships for the multitude of Career and Technical Education programs our district offers,” Kraemer said. “The goal is to provide as many students as possible with career pathways and opportunities.”

Nancy Trivette, the president-elect of the Association for Career and Technical Education, said those who graduate from the school will gain valuable credentials for future employment.

“The students who are here today are lucky because you are in the right place to learn great things from great instructors, and also gain the soft skills and leadership and personal development that you are gaining from FFA,” Trivette said. “You will leave here with a credential that many of your friends and colleagues don’t have because of what you have learned at the Monmouth County Career Center and Monmouth County Technical Schools.”