Sunday, March 18th, 2018

County College of Morris is spearheading opportunities for women in the fields of landscape, design and maintenance — jobs primarily held by men.

CCM logoThe effort to open this field of study to more female students is being led by Brian Oleksak, chair of the CCM Department of Landscape and Horticulture Technology (LHT), and adjunct professor Susan Cohan, among others.

CCM faculty is committed to increasing the number of women enrolled in the LHT program that currently is comprised of 84 percent male and 16 percent female students, which reflects industry standards.  CCM’s program offers three Associate in Applied Science degree opportunities and four career certificates.

The college boasts an exceptional state-of-the-art LEED certified horticultural facility that opened in 2012, and the department has a high reputation throughout the professional horticulture community.

For students who are interested in landscape and horticulture, the CCM website at https://tinyurl.com/yaltfnpc provides a list of degrees and certificates students can complete.

photo shows three people -- including two women -- planting trees

Recently, CCM held a Women in Horticulture Panel, moderated by Cohan, featuring women who have made careers in landscape and horticulture.

The panel included Carolle Huber, Morris County Parks Commission; Susan Olinger, landscape designer, Sterling Horticultural Services; Cathy Larson, landscape designer, Susan Cohan Garden Design; Leiron Sorensen, horticulturist, Trump National Golf Club; Amy Rovine, landscape contractor, Living Color Landscape; and Heide Taylor, manager, Plant Detective Nursery.

The panelists highlighted the significance of an education in horticulture and encouraged women to focus on management, grounds maintenance, landscape contracting and arboriculture, rather than limiting themselves to floriculture and retail.

“We recognize that women are severely under-represented in the green industry and women have demonstrated that they are equally successful at performing the jobs as men,” said Oleksak.

For more information on the LHT program at CCM, contact Oleksak at [email protected], and Cohan at [email protected]