Construction of a new 'centre of excellence' for horticulture is expected to begin in Katikati early next year.
The education hub will be based at Katikati College and will bring together training providers to equip people for a career in horticulture.
Almost $300,000 of the $570,000 needed for to build the hub has been raised from donations.
Innovative Horticulture Project manager Hilary Johnson says there's a huge shortage of workers in horticulture and the industry is crying out for skilled workers.
"Horticulture is not just about putting little brown fuzzy things into boxes. It's about all sorts of wonderful opportunities," she says.