New NIC Landscape Technology program open for enrollment

It is said that it's best to teach what you know, and Colby Weathers knows landscaping. Now Weathers will tie together his two passions as the instructor for North Idaho College's new Landscape Technology program.

|photo1|Weathers studied landscape technology at Portland Community College and holds a bachelor's degree in landscape architecture from the University of Idaho. He served as a teaching assistant for the University of Idaho program, designing and teaching a plant materials course for students.

Weathers has also owned and operated his own business for the past eight years. Native Landscape Design and its seven employees take landscape designs from concept to creation, creating master design plans for residential and commercial sites and completing the design construction of hardscapes, plant materials and custom water features.

Weathers said because of his background as an industry professional, he knows what employers want and what his students need to know to become successfully employed as landscapers.

“Students will be able to walk away from this program with the knowledge required to work in any aspect of landscaping,” Weathers said. “That's the goal.”

A promising market outlook and workforce demand prompted NIC to add the Landscape Technology program, as well as Outdoor Power/Recreational Vehicle Technology and the Human Resources Assistant program, all beginning in August with the start of fall semester.

The Trades and Industry Division researched Landscape Technology programs at other schools to develop curriculum and identified a group of people to serve on the advisory committee to adapt the program's content to meet the needs of both students and employers.

The 10-month Landscape Technology program is designed to teach students to work in residential and commercial landscape construction, including grounds maintenance, golf course/turf maintenance, irrigation installation and complete landscape installation. Program graduates receive a technical certificate.

The program will be taught from the former Contractors Northwest, Inc. building across from the baseball fields on Ramsey, which is being rented by NIC. Students in the program will get hands-on experience with design concepts and equipment operation as they landscape the site of the building this year.

Weathers said landscaping has changed over the years, becoming a very technical business in which a creative and experienced workforce is needed.

“As this region continues to grow and develop, there's a huge demand for both labor and crew leader positions in the landscaping industry,” Weathers said. “The need is definitely there, and we hope to fill it.”

Enrollment is still open for the Landscape Technology program. For more information or to enroll, call NIC's Professional-Technical Office at (208) 769-3448.

For More Information
NIC Landscape Technology Instructor Colby Weathers, (208) 769-3463

Posted: Friday, July 1, 2005

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