Chris, You made a compelling endorsement of the CLVLT test and certification. I want to be that quality competition you talk about. (Not for you personally, Owensboro is not my market.
I have always been a strong believer in professionalism and accreditation. I have been a member of the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association almost since starting my business 30 years ago. I have been on one of its standing committees for 25 years. I was one of the first to be certified as a "master" in the association's certification programs. With all of that said, you might think I have a big business. Quite the contrary, I have typically only had two employees and have gained only a modest, comfortable income.
Now as I enter the lighting profession, I am eager to obtain that same kind of standing and to engage in similar networking among lighting professionals.
I have been studying the trade for almost a year now, reading books, reading this forum, and doing some lighting maintenance to get started.
AOLP folks: Please take this as constructive criticism.
I very much want to join the AOLP and to take the certification test but
I can not financially justify attending a conference in Florida or Arizona for the purpose of becoming certified. And I doubt that I am alone in that situation. I tallied up the membership from the AOLP website. I found that there are about 150 total members with about 30 of those being manufacturers / distributors. Further, there are fewer than 50 who are CLVLT. ( I hope I am somewhat close on these stats.)
In Ohio, where there are substantial numbers doing landscape and architectural lighting, the AOLP roles show seven members, five of them being from distributors or Kichler.
I do not how the AOLP will grow its organization and its influence until there are more AOLP state associations and that those state groups are enabled to administer the certification tests.