Many of the country’s best and brightest green industry students came to Pomona, Calif. March 26-29, 2009, to compete in the Professional Landcare Network’s (PLANET’s) 33rd Annual Student Career Days, held at Cal Poly Pomona. Sixty-one college teams, including a total of 798 students, participated in 26 individual and team competitions including tree climbing, paver installation, wood construction, plant identification, sales presentation, exterior/interior design, irrigation troubleshooting, skid steer, equipment operation, and the newest event to showcase this year – Compact Excavator Operation, just to name a few.
The competition, held by PLANET included awards to individual winners as well as to teams. The individual winners, called “Superstars,” were, in first place, Seth Reed of Brigham Young University – Idaho (Rexburg, Idaho), Ben Roney of Alamance Community College (Graham, North Carolina), in second place, and Dawn Strickland of University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia), in third place.
Not only did Brigham Young University – Idaho take the lead individual award, they were also awarded first place in overall competitive events. In second place, was Colorado State University, followed by North Metro Technical College in third.
Cal Poly Pomona previously hosted the event in 1992.
Aside from the bragging rights, students also received scholarships and award money. This year PLANET gave almost $70,000 in scholarships through its PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation. In addition, the on-site Career Fair offered students the opportunity to interview with green industry companies for full-time positions and internships.
“This year’s SCD Event was another tremendous success!” said Jennifer Buck, national recruiting director and student career days committee chair. “Cal Poly Pomona and their team were great ─ organized, friendly, always ready and willing to help out. It was a great weekend full of education, training, networking, career fair, and competitive events.”
PLANET thanks the event’s platinum sponsor STIHL Inc. and the gold sponsor Ariens/Gravely. Caterpillar Inc., JOHN DEERE, Ryan Turf Renovation Equipment, BRICKMAN, Husqvarna, Pavestone Company, and The Toro Company were also major sponsors of the event.
For a complete list of winners, please visit the Web at
PLANET is the association of members who create and maintain the QUALITY OF LIFE in communities across America. With more than 4,000 member companies and affiliates, these firms and their employees represent more than 100,000 green industry professionals