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From the Field: Lukas Nursery Employs FCHP Certification as Employee Benefit

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Article by: Certification News

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Sunny smiles - Kyler Walker, FCHP, left, and Hunter Carter-Fredrickson, FCHP, right, take a minute from their tasks to pose for a picture. (FNGLA PHOTO)


As part of its employee benefit package, Lukas Nursery & Butterfly Encounter offers employees of at least 90 days the opportunity to earn their FNGLA Certified Horticulture Professional (FCHP) certification.

It's been more than a decade since the Oviedo-based nursery and garden center installed the employee perk. Since then, it has really taken root among employees, according to Edna Kane, FCHP, a Lukas employee of 10 years who oversees the program. 

“Almost all the employees here are certified,”  Kane explains while standing under the radiant midday sun in front of the nursery’s busy gift shop. “It’s definitely something that we encourage.”

According to Kane, their number of certified employees is around 35.

Employees who earn their FCHP certification also have the chance to receive their own Lukas Nursery business card and company-branded email address, according to Kane. The company also covers the costs for certification and renewals.

The move to provide the opportunity for employees to earn their certification has greatly helped staff achieve an even greater level of customer service, Kane adds.

“It’s not just a certification, it’s a confidence-booster,” Kane says. “When you’re certified, you’re more comfortable walking up to a person and saying, 'hey, this is the plant you’re looking for, this will thrive in your area, this is what you need.’”

Hunter Carter-Fredrickson, a Lukas Nursery employee of two years who is FCHP-certified, says getting certified has increased his skills and made him a more versatile employee.

“It’s helped me a lot; there’s a wider variety of things I can do,” Carter-Fredrickson says. 

Another Lukas employee, Kyler Walker, FCHP, echoed Carter-Fredrickson’s sentiments on FCHP: “It’s a larger variety of knowledge and I can help more customers.”

An FNGLA member since 1974, Lukas Nursery is a fourth-generation family business which offers thousands of plant varieties, a gift shop, garden accessories, landscape and design services. The nursery also operates its Butterfly Encounter, a butterfly and bird conservatory which covers 40,000 square feet. 


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