Shannon Bowling, part of ODE's second class of graduates, currently works at Gordon Lakes Golf Club in Fort Gordon, Ga., as a golf course maintenance operator. Photo courtesy of Shannon Bowling
The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and The Warrior Alliance have announced an agreement to collaborate on developing a career pathway in the golf industry for service members, veterans, their families and others.
The two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding Tuesday during the 2023 GCSAA Conference and Show in Orlando.
This joint initiative will align GCSAA’s expertise of the required competencies for success in the golf course maintenance industry with The Warrior Alliance’s Operation Double Eagle, a nine-week skills development program in Augusta, Ga.,
which connects veterans and transitioning active-duty service members to a network of employers seeking “job-ready” veterans for nationwide career opportunities.
By defining competencies for traditional positions in the golf industry and aligning those with specific training and educational offerings, GCSAA and The Warrior Alliance hope to provide a career pathway to help individuals advance from entry-level to
leadership positions. In addition, value will be added to employers who, due to the defined competencies for each position, will know what skillsets employees bring to the job based on accreditation of the skills outlined in the program.
The program looks to provide placement of veterans and other participants in suitable positions for their validated skillsets, thus encouraging employees to stay engaged as they advance within the golf course maintenance industry.
“With this agreement, GCSAA and The Warrior Alliance will combine our resources to expand the veteran workforce development of Operation Double Eagle and support our GCSAA members and their golf facilities.” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said.
“This collaboration will help address golf’s labor shortage by providing a skilled workforce trained in the various maintenance practices used on golf courses.”
Once established, the program will be available to expand externally with various stakeholders and educational providers throughout the country providing online, classroom, hands-on, and apprenticeship skills development courses for the golf industry.
This expansion will go beyond serving only veterans to include anyone interested in advancing their skills in the golf course maintenance industry.
“The Warrior Alliance is honored to work with the GCSAA in breaking down barriers to employment within the golf industry,” said Scott Johnson, president/CEO of The Warrior Alliance. “We are proud of our Operation Double Eagle program’s
success in providing skills development and new careers for individuals who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. The partnership with the GCSAA will enhance the training and expand the labor resource pool beyond veterans to address rising labor shortages.”
The specifics of the program will be developed over the next six months, with expectations to be operational by early 2024.