Why Host a Maine Horticulture Apprentice Trainee

Thank you for your interest in hosting an apprentice! In order to ensure our program participants have a meaningful learning experience in their apprenticeship, we ask that you carefully read through the following expectations.

Ready to be on our list of potential host sites? 

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Why host a Maine Horticulture Apprentice Trainee?

Here are just a few of the many reasons: 

  • As employees, Maine Horticulture Apprentice Trainees have received training on a number of horticulture topics, giving them a jumpstart on professional development.
  • You have the opportunity to hire someone who has shown interest in and dedication to entering the field of horticulture.
  • You’ll support the next generation of the horticulture workforce in Maine!

What is expected of an apprentice host site?

  • Apprentice opportunities can be paid or volunteer positions. Please note: Volunteer (un-paid) positions at for-profit businesses must pass the “primary beneficiary test” to determine whether the position is eligible to be unpaid or is, in fact, an employee (who needs to be paid) under the Fair Labor Standards act. More information: Fact Sheet #71: Internship Programs Under The Fair Labor Standards Act (https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fact-sheets/71-flsa-internships) 
  • Apprentices are expected to complete 200 hours by April 23, 2024. Schedules can be flexible to meet apprentice and host site needs, for example apprentices could work: full time for 5 weeks, half time for 10 weeks, or 1 day/week for 6 months.
  • The apprenticeship must provide significant experience in at least 5 of the following areas: 
    • Watering/Irrigation
    • Pest management (insect, disease, weed)
    • Plant maintenance (pruning, division, fertilizer application, etc.)
    • Customer service
    • Planting and/or seeding
    • Plant selection and design
    • Using equipment properly and safely (ex: hand tools, mowers, string trimmers, tiller, etc.)
    • Experience monitoring plants for pests (insect, disease, weed)
    • Educational outreach
  • Hosts must agree to complete an apprenticeship agreement at the beginning of the apprenticeship and an evaluation at the end. 
  • Businesses must fulfill Maine state licensing and legal expectations.

What is a suitable host site?

Hosts must meet certain requirements to participate in our program. Some examples of possible host sites are: 

  • Landscaping businesses
  • Nurseries (public facing or wholesale), 
  • Farms
  • Non-profits (botanical, community and school gardens, etc.)
  • Grounds keepers 

Businesses and positions that will NOT qualify: 

  • Cashier positions (involving no direct work with plants)
  • Hardscaping-only positions
  • Landscaping positions that are strictly mowing/weed whacking
  • Self-employment (as the goal of this apprenticeship is to learn from someone with more experience in the industry).

Apprenticeships are subject to approval by Maine Horticulture Apprentice program coordinators.

What is the Maine Horticulture Apprenticeship?
The Maine Horticulture Apprentice Training is a 3-part, comprehensive curriculum designed to supply learners with a foundational horticulture education suitable for skilled entry-level positions in the horticulture industry. Developed with input from horticulture industry leaders, this program will prepare learners with the practical horticulture knowledge and skills desired by employers. Learn more here.