Will PereiraMay 2017

By now, your company is likely in full swing for the busiest season of the year. Most businesses are operating at full capacity, and many could take on more work—if they had enough labor.

We all know labor is the number one issue most companies are facing.  It’s keeping them from growing and reaching their full potential. Do you know how much ALCC is working to help with that labor shortage?

  • Last week, ALCC members were in Washington, DC to participate in the H-2B Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill, urging lawmakers to reinstate the returning worker exemption and to reform the legal guest worker program.
  • The Landscape Career Pathways program continues to grow and last week, volunteers in Day of Service projects gave two high schools what they need to train students in hands on skills. The Southern Chapter did a massive renovation to create an outdoor learning area for Falcon High near Colorado Springs. The Denver Chapter did a similar project at Green Mountain High School in Lakewood.  Now these schools can begin training students in hands-on skills so they are job-ready upon graduation. The first few participants in these programs will graduate this year with more to follow as the programs gain momentum.

But while we wait for H-2B reform and Pathways graduates, it might be time to look at our current hiring practices. How do we hire for our business?  Are we so desperate for skilled people that we look over those who don’t have the skills but show promise in other ways? If you could train new hires with the necessary skills, would you hire someone with a good attitude and a strong work ethic but without the experience you seek? ALCC is working in that direction, too.

Later this month, ALCC volunteers will launch the first-ever Irrigation Boot Camp through Emily Griffith Technical College. Based on Landscape Industry Certification, the three-week, intensive program will teach basic irrigation concepts and focus on building hands-on skills. This crash course is aimed at veterans, students and others looking for a career change. Classes will be held Thursday and Friday evenings and on Saturdays—good timing for a promising new hire who needs to acquire skills.

If you’re looking to support ALCC’s efforts to promote landscape careers, you might consider volunteering for an evening or half a Saturday at Emily Griffith. Help industry newbies gain hands-on skills and be an ambassador for our industry at the same time. Volunteers are needed to assist the instructor at the boot camp. Contact Becky Garber at 303 757-5611 to see how you can get involved.

Will Pereira, BrightView
ALCC President

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