December 16, 2021
GROWing the industry one recruit at a time
Joe Salemi (far right) with members of LO’s GROW team.
Joe SalemiI recently had the opportunity to sit in on Landscape Ontario’s GROW team’s strategic review meeting. After learning about what everyone has been working on, it is clear to me that this program is an incredibly valuable opportunity for our profession. While this program alone won’t solve all of our labour issues, it is will certainly help. It will be even more effective once we’re able to expand the program province-wide. 

The program is still in pilot mode as the team builds and refines the processes, but the important work of recruiting new entrants to the industry, training existing industry staff, and helping business owners be better employers is happening right now. 

Throughout the day’s meeting it was ultra-apparent that the people on LO’s GROW team are wholly committed to setting up this program based on the initial “hiring hall” vision set out by the pioneers of Landscape Ontario many years ago. 

LO’s GROW team spent the better part of the afternoon dissecting every process, scrutinizing why every step is in place and the order in which they occur. What’s really important to know and what impressed me the most was just how invested they were to make sure it’s the best overall experience for recruits that are completely new to our industry.

There are many impressive components to this program. Firstly, there are LO staff actively recruiting to bring people with no previous connections to the landscape and horticulture industry into the fold and to get them passionate about working outside. They’re also working with existing staff of some LO members to put together professional development plans to level up their skillsets. Of which, $1,600 is provided by LO’s GROW program to help fund their professional development. Lastly, but equally important as the first two, the team is working with business owners to help them be better employers. Combined, we have a formula for a multi-layered approach to closing the labour gap in Ontario.

The LO GROW team is especially talented and highly-skilled as employment and workforce development specialists. We’re thankful everyday for the work they do.

Amanda Laszcz
Anna Hulskramer
Candice Styles
Joan D’Souza
Liz Blaauwendraat
Lori Harding
Melissa Kooiman
Rebecca Harrison
Sonam Arora
Sally Harvey
Vicki Thomson

I understand we have some recruits in the Hamilton and Toronto areas that still need to be connected with employers. These recruits have gone through introductory training with some great instructors from the landscape and horticulture profession. If you’re in the Hamilton or Toronto areas and interested in accessing some of these recruits, please contact me by phone or text at 905-220-4106 or email (below).

To find out more about LO’s GROW program, visit
Joe Salemi CAE
LO Deputy Executive Director and Director of Operations