Penn State Extension offers new basic training online courses

Penn State Extension is offering a new online workforce training series aimed at new and seasonal landscape industry employees.

The series, which consists of six online courses, is targeted at entry-level or seasonal landscape employees and provides timely training in the subjects and areas that employees need to get started. 

The “Employee Landscape Training” series currently includes Pruning Basics; New Lawn Establishment; Planting, Mulching and Watering; Symptoms and Signs of Plant Health Problems; and Introduction to Soils. The final course, Reading Landscape Plans, will be available in April.

“Workforce training videos and knowledge-check questions show beginning workers how to accomplish basic landscaping tasks and supply them with the knowledge to do their jobs,” said Ruth Benner, extension educator who is coordinating the course series. “Each of the six online courses has a quiz at the end, and participants will need to achieve a passing score to receive a certificate of completion.”

Dan Eichenlaub, owner-operator of Pittsburgh landscape company Eichenlaub Inc. and past president of the Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association (PLNA), consulted with Penn State Extension in creating the series to be sure it addressed the landscape industry’s needs. He contends that this extension-industry collaboration presents a significant value proposition to business owners.

PLNA members will receive a 25% discount on trainings they arrange for their employees. For more information about the “Employee Landscape Training” courses, contact Ruth Benner at 814-825-0900 or To register for the online courses, go to