Three employees of R&S Landscaping, after a period of intensive training, participated in the Landscape Industry Certified Technician Test at Bergen Community College in October.

While Damian Sanchez served as a judge of the applicant’s work, the others prepared for and participated in the Landscape Industry Certified Technician Test given at Bergen Community College in October.

Landscape construction crew members Juan Carlos Rodriguez and Leonel Sanchez, both of Spring Valley, and assistant project manager Brittney Hunter of Mahwah, took the hardscape installation track portion of the exam. The test is an internationally recognized, hands-on testing program exclusively administered by the New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association in New Jersey, in conjunction with the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET).

Every year, R&S helps employees prepare for the test with weekly skills training in plan reading, math and estimating calculations. A box containing sand and fine gravel is used as a practice area for the students where they learn about the practical aspects of the exam such as drainage and grading, hardscape principles and calculations, paver installation and irrigation.

There is a written component of the test and a practical exam. R&S Assistant Project Manager Damian Sanchez of Spring Valley who successfully passed the exam last year, volunteered to serve as a judge for the test.

“We’re extremely proud of Juan, Leonel and Brittney for their hard work and dedication, and we’d also like to acknowledge Damian for serving as a judge,” said Robert Schucker, president of R&S Landscaping. “This is a very hard test and they studied for months. As a general rule, we encourage all R&S employees to increase their skill sets and pursue advanced education.”

To become a Landscape Industry Certified Technician, an applicant must pass all of the modules in one of four designations: Turf maintenance, ornamental maintenance, softscape installation, and hardscape installation. Certification seeks to recognize proficiency in the landscape workforce, upgrade the status of the landscape contractor, and provide the public with a means of identifying qualified landscape professionals.