HELP Program

Horticultural Enhanced Learning Experience (HELP)

HELP is finally here! What is it? An innovative program to find and hire new employees, now available for NHLA members. HELP is a cooperative education experience, commonly known as a “co-op,” which may provide academic credit for structured job experience. A co-op is a combination of classroom-based education with practical work experience. Through the HELP program, NHLA members can hire Career and Technical Education (CTE) students, 16 years of age or older, who are enrolled in various CTE programs throughout the state. The goal of this program is to bring young students into the Green Industry and also become the next generation of NHLA Members.

This program provides students with paid experiences, in the real world. Our hope is that this program will provide a new generation of landscapers and a much-needed work force. As an intern, the student must complete certain steps in the program. These steps are known as Educational Learning Objectives or ELOs.

These evaluation forms are simple to use and are based on your student/employee observations. Upon completion of the experience, the school will use the forms to determine high school credits. Students will also receive micro credentials from NHLA in one or more of the following areas: landscape construction, maintenance, fine gardening, landscape architecture, landscape lighting, irrigation and arboriculture.

You will find the ELO evaluation forms below. Also, check out Career and Technical Education Programs near you. These CTE Centers can be found on the NH Dept. of Education’s website.

In order to participate in the HELP program, you must be an NHLA member and registered with the NH Department of Labor. Please follow the steps below to register for the program. All forms can be downloaded. Fill them out completely and send to the NH Department of Labor. You will need to apply annually. The paperwork is an incredibly important part of the program.


  1. Vocational Cooperative Education Program.
  2. Pre-Screening of School to Business Partners. This form is to make sure that you have Workers Compensations Insurance and you have a safe work environment.
  3. Wait for APPROVAL for the NH Department of Labor; then you are ready to begin.
  4. Contact the Director or Career Counselor at a CTE Program near you.

Doug Cullen from Pinkerton Academy has offered to get the program into the hands of the CTE Program Directors. This will get the ball rolling and we will be on our way to training the future of the NH Green Industry. Hopefully, you will have these teachers on your speed dial and you will be benefiting from the program.

This program is a work in progress, and there will be stumbling blocks. But I believe there will be very few of them. I am encouraging all NHLA members to take advantage of this new program, which will help you find the next generation of landscape professionals. I would like to thank the committee that helped me put this program together. The committee had one thing on their minds: we need to get future professionals trained and ready to step up and run the industry. I appreciate their dedication and hard work. They took time out of their busy schedules to meet at night to get it done.


Co-Op Education Program Agreement Co-Op Arborist ELO Co-Op Fine Gardening ELO Co-Op Irrigation ELO Co-Op Landscape Architecture ELO Co-Op Landscape Construction ELO Co-Op Landscape Lighting ELO Co-Op Landscape Maintenance ELO

HELP Committee Members:
Beth Stavru, Stone Blossom
Bill Parker, Parker Garden Design
Greg Grisby, Gradient PLLC
Justin Gamester, Piscataqua Landscape
Kevin McDonnell, Manchester School of Technology
Jim Moreau, Northeast Turf and Irrigation Supply