ALCC news center
Quick H-2B update Email
Monday, July 20, 2015 07:58 AM

H-2B visa program
This week, the House Appropriations Committee passed the FY 2016 funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The bill includes the language below that would create an H-2B returning worker exemption for fiscal year 2016, which begins on October 1.

SEC. 561. Section 214(g)(9)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(9)(A)) is amended by striking ‘‘2004, 2005, or 2006 shall not again be count- ed toward such limitation during fiscal year 2007.’’ and inserting ‘‘2013, 2014, or 2015 shall not again be counted toward such limitation during fiscal year 2016.’’

To supporters of this H-2B legislation: We will have a long way to go to preserve this language in a final appropriations measure later this year, but this is a very important first step. Please continue your H-2B outreach to lawmakers.

 
Smart irrigation earns industry recognition for Golden business Email
News
Monday, July 20, 2015 07:00 AM

 

Schutz Industries Inc irrigation managementWhen ALCC launched its awards program, organizers chose to shine a spotlight on projects that demonstrate sustainability, stewardship, and innovation. The first recipient of the ELITE Irrigation Management Award was Schultz Industries, Inc. for their work at the Concha Townhomes in Denver, which reduced water consumption by 45%.

According to the Golden-based landscape company, Concha Townhomes was classified as “extremely water inefficient” by Denver Water and sought recommendations/proposals to get its irrigation consumption reduced and in line with Denver Water guidelines. Water was the largest HOA expense.

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5 creative employee orientation strategies Email
News
Monday, July 20, 2015 06:00 AM

work glovesThink about your employee orientation experiences. What comes to mind? A long morning of paperwork? Listening to a member of HR walk you page-by-page through the employee handbook? A day stuck in a conference room signing disclaimers and other employee procedure forms?

When done robotically like this, employee orientation can discourage new hires. When handled creatively, employee orientation can be a fun and engaging experience that, according to research published in January 2015 in the journal Human Resource Management, results in higher job satisfaction and, as a result, higher motivation and commitment to the organization.

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Who’s an employee and who’s an independent contractor? Email
News
Written by Jackon Kelly PLLC   
Monday, July 20, 2015 05:00 AM

Employee vs. independent contractorSometimes it’s not so easy to tell.

Earlier this year, an unsuccessful bill came before the Colorado Legislature that would have simplified the test to determine whether a person was an independent contractor or employee. Senate bill S.B. 15-269 would have repealed current standards related to the determination of independent contractor status under the Employment Security Act (unemployment insurance, or UI) and established a multifactor test to determine whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor for the purposes of UI.

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Why is there a purple box in that tree? Email
News
Monday, July 20, 2015 04:49 AM

Purple EAB trapResidents in the City of Boulder and Boulder County may notice more than 65 purple and green boxes in trees along high-traffic roads. The boxes are traps aimed at identifying emerald ash borer (EAB). The pest, which has killed tens of millions of ash trees across the US, has been found in Boulder, and experts want to find out as soon as possible if EAB has spread into other areas.

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Word-of-mouth drives customer referrals Email
News
Monday, July 20, 2015 03:00 AM


Smartphone userMost business owners know that word-of-mouth is a powerful way to find new customers. In this digital age, social media has influenced the way consumers get word-of-mouth referrals. Online review sites have become part of the research process for many people when looking for products and services.

A recent study by Software Advice revealed that 38% of consumers begin with online review sites when researching residential service providers. 56% of consumers began by using search engines, which often point to online review sites in results for those searches.

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Who’s an employee & who’s an independent contractor? Email
Tuesday, July 14, 2015 08:58 AM

Sometimes it’s not so easy to tell. 

Earlier this year, an unsuccessful bill came before the Colorado Legislature that would have simplified the test to determine whether a person was an independent contractor or employee. Senate bill S.B. 15-269 would have repealed current standards related to the determination of independent contractor status under the Employment Security Act (unemployment insurance, or UI) and established a multifactor test to determine whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor for the purposes of UI.

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More H-2B updates Email
Thursday, July 09, 2015 07:58 AM


H-2B visa legislation updateNew H-2B Rules:
Prior to the July 4 recess, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of the fiscal 2016 Department of Labor Appropriations bill. No amendments were offered to try to strike the beneficial H-2B language included in the bill. The bill includes language that would:

            • Address H-2B wages and allow the use of private wage surveys, which are not allowed under the new final H-2B wage rule;
            • Clearly define seasonal as ten months, as opposed to the nine months in the new interim final H-2B comprehensive rule;
            • Prevent DOL from implementing the provisions of the interim final rule related to corresponding employment and the ¾ guarantee;
            • Prevent DOL from implementing the new and burdensome DOL enforcement scheme in the IFR related to audit and the Certifying Officer (CO) assisted recruitment; and
            • Allow for the staggered crossing of seafood H-2B employees. 
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2nd draft of Colorado Water Plan released Email
Wednesday, July 08, 2015 07:58 AM

The Colorado Water Conservation Board has released the second draft of a proposed water plan for Colorado. View the latest draft at www.colorado.gov/pacific/cowaterplan/july-2015-second-draft-colorados-water-plan

CWCB welcomes public input through September 17, 2015. ALCC and GreeenCO will also review the plan and make comments during this time.

Colorado's Water Plan timeline

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further reading:
Colorado's Water Plan 

 
Smart Irrigation Month can save money and win customers Email
News
Tuesday, July 07, 2015 02:49 PM

Smart IrrigationMonthIn July, celebrate Smart Irrigation Month by helping customers save water, save money and see better results.

Smart Irrigation Month is a public awareness campaign to promote efficient water use in July—traditionally the month of peak demand for outdoor water use. Landscape companies that offer water-wise services and solutions can win customers and peer recognition for their efforts.

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Opportunity and growth signal a need for skilled labor Email
News
Tuesday, July 07, 2015 01:11 PM

GrowthA recent poll of Fortune 500 CEOs revealed some interesting statistics. Two telling responses reveal that businesses are expecting growth, and that the skilled labor pool may not be keeping up.

Coming in 4th on the list of challenges faced by big business is “shortage of skilled labor.” 34% of CEOs rated this one of their top issues. Any landscape company looking for irrigation technicians can surely relate to that.

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Smart irrigation technologies use water efficiently Email
News
Tuesday, July 07, 2015 12:48 PM


In California #DroughtShaming on social media is a hot trend as many people try to reduce water usage. A popular form of drought shaming involves posting photos of sprinklers spraying water on concrete, or irrigations systems running while it’s raining. There are many “smart” technologies available that can maximize water efficiency and put an end to those wasteful and embarrassing situations.

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Need help funding your business growth? Email
News
Tuesday, July 07, 2015 11:05 AM


Business handshakeAs the landscape industry in Colorado grows, some small businesses may have trouble meeting the increased demand for services. In order to expand your business, you need capital. But how to find the funding you need? The US Small Business Association (SBA) is a good place to start.

The SBA web site has information about how to secure financing throughout all stages of the business cycle. You’ll find resources for government contracting, loans, and venture capital.

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