MCCTC students keep things blooming at
By Kalea Hall
Around the corner from the main entrance at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center is a small shop bursting with color.
Orange, yellow and brown flowers fill vases and line wreaths on display.
Autumn has nearly arrived, and the students in the school’s floral design program are excited to create with the season’s colors.
“I have found that if I allow the students to be creative, their own natural talents come out,” said Mary June Emerson, floral design and landscape instructor at MCCTC.
The Flower Shop on MCCTC’s campus, 300 N. Palmyra Road, will be open for its fall open house through October. Hours at the student-run shop are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The profits help the students pay for the National FFA Organization youth program competitions. The students have consistently placed high in floriculture and proudly display their awards on the walls of the room where they create.Students have pre-made items on sale, but they can also create pieces for customers who buy materials and bring them in. Homecoming corsage orders also can be placed at the shop.
Last year, the students even did the flowers for two weddings.
“I want them to be very creative,” Emerson said. “I give them some basic design tips.”
Emerson graduated from the horticulture – now floral design and landscaping – program at MCCTC in 1975. She went on to manage a flower shop, worked as a horticulture assistant for an Ohio State University Extension Office and was an environmental educator. She’s been instructing at MCCTC for 12 years, and she still does some flowers on the side for family.
“I entered some flowers with my grandma at the Canfield Fair, and it just got me hooked,” she said.
Emerson’s career path shows students there’s more to flowers than flowers.
“There are opportunities for them to understand the business end and how to run it,” Emerson said.
Students in floral design learn aspects of design and how to work with fresh and silk flowers. They also learn the science behind the plants and do greenhouse work.On the landscape side, they learn how to operate equipment safely, and they identify plants, insects and diseases. “Horticulture is one of the most diverse career pathways you can take,” Emerson said. “If a student likes to be outside, [he or she] should come to the horticulture program and we can find an awesome fit for them.”
Hope Ingram, 17, of Struthers and a junior at MCCTC joined the program because of the enjoyment she gets in seeing flowers. “I want to own my own flower shop someday,” she said. Ingram’s classmate, Katie Johnstone, 17, of Boardman, a senior at MCCTC, wants to go into agricultural engineering after she graduates. In this job, she would help farmers with their soil. “I’ve always wanted to be in the farming industry,” she said. “This program really pushed me to really know I could do it.”
For information about The Flower Shop, call 330-729-4000, ext. 1672 or ext. 1671.
- See more at: http://www.vindy.com/news/2016/sep/21/the-flower-shop/