ALCC news center
Zak George Landscaping hires HR manager Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, May 24, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

When is the right time, you may ask? Zak George, owner of Zak George Landscaping (ZGL), Fort Collins, says “In my opinion, once you cross the 50-employee mark it’s worth having an HR department, if the company has a growth mindset.”

In 2019 he thought it was time for his company to establish a formal HR department. But he took his time. He wanted the right fit. “We want to attract the best possible talent to the company,” George says. “That meant we needed someone who knows the people side of things. It’s a different skill set, one our leadership team thought would complement the rest of the team and help the company grow to the next level.”

At the time, ZGL had around 30 year-round employees with numbers growing to nearly 80 when including seasonal employees—both H-2B and nationals.

In late 2019, ZGL hired David Curtis as the company’s first HR Manager. “People were probably curious to see how it would work out,” Curtis reflects. “I have a degree in psychology, not HR, and this was a new position at the company. Among other factors, I think Zak hired me because of my experience managing a branch within a large corporation where I often handled the HR functions.

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Mari Medrano – first place for perspective article on labor Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, May 24, 2022 03:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

The challenge of finding seasonal workers in the landscape industry and other seasonal industries has been an ongoing challenge for at least a couple of decades.

Mari Medrano, human resources director at CoCal Landscape, Denver, has more than 20 years’ experience working with foreign workers on H-2B visas. In spring 2021, Medrano wrote the article, H-2B: An Employer Perspective for Turf magazine and in spring 2022 her article received first place from the Turf and Ornamental Communicators Association.

This editorial/opinion article highlighted her real-life experiences, and subsequent learning, from 20-plus years of working with foreign workers on H-2B visas. She said the process is time-consuming and there are no guarantees a company will be granted workers from the program. “If you think you know what you’re doing, this program—with constantly changing government regulations and attacks from H-2B opponents—will knock you to your knees. It’s anguishing, hair-pulling, frustrating and dumbfounding, but also very fulfilling and rewarding,” she wrote.

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Water ‘22 – “It all starts here” Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, May 24, 2022 02:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

In the face of drought and climate change and to ensure Colorado has enough water to meet all the needs of today and the future, Water Education Colorado has spearheaded Water ’22, a year-long water education campaign lead by @watereducationCO that asks Coloradans to make a pledge to reduce their water consumption by 22 gallons (or more) each day.

Simple actions can save at least 22 gallons per person per day. According to the numbers, if every Coloradan saved 22 gallons a day for a year, the savings translate to 150,000 acre-feet or the volume of Horsetooth Reservoir in Fort Collins! Small changes help stretch our scarce water supplies and help preserve our agriculture, parks and open space, fish and wildlife habitat, recreation, drinking water and industrial and commercial sectors.

Water ’22 calls upon all Coloradans to work together to ensure clean water is available to support the state’s water uses.

Beyond each individual, we have a duty within the green industry to be good stewards of water. One of the ways ALCC is helping support this campaign is with its Sustainable Landscape Management (SLM) program, which educates landscape professionals in the public and private sectors about sustainable, water-conserving landscape management principles.

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H-2B Coalition update Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, May 24, 2022 01:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

As most in the industry know, the H-2B visa nonimmigrant program permits employers to hire foreign workers to come temporarily to the United States and perform services or labor for a one-time season. The job timeframe must be for less than one year.

As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did for last summer, the Department of Labor (DOL) will make available an additional 35,000 H-2B temporary visas for the second half of summer of 2022.

Last week the H-2B rule published by the H-2B Coalition, includes the following conditions:

  • Supplemental visas only apply to the second half cap for work April 1 through Sept. 30. DHS will only accept petitions through Sept. 15. Anything pending after Oct. 1 will be denied.
  • Any unused Northern Triangle visas—from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras—will not be rolled over to returning worker visas for other countries. 
  • Enhanced recruitment for most petitions.
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Lifescape Colorado receives Gold ELITE Award for Maintenance Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Monday, May 09, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

There was a time at the beginning of the millennium, after more than 20 years in business, when Lifescape Colorado focused its passion and creativity on landscape design and construction, its core competencies, and did not continue with ongoing maintenance. For the past three years Lifescape has maintained the “Charm Grows Here” property, a residence for which they completed the design/build work in 2004. Lifescape established a maintenance division in 2011 and the property owners reached out. Lifescape’s efforts were rewarded with ALCC’s Gold ELITE Award for Residential Maintenance.

Colorado Green spoke with Ben Pritchett, garden manager, and Matt Cloud, now director of onboarding and quality assurance, about caring for the property. Cloud likes to say, “Our design/build clients are those we date, but we marry our maintenance clients.”

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Pickens Tech ramps up hort program Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Monday, May 09, 2022 03:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

For 25+ years, Urban Horticulture & Landscape Management at Pickens Technical College, Aurora, has trained young people and older career changers for landscape industry jobs. Rachel Durkan, new instructor in 2021, envisions it as “one of the gems of the Front Range for green industry career training.” Already, many students work in horticulture/landscape jobs outside the classroom.

Durkan is pleased with a new classroom, greenhouse upgrades and help from colleague Donna Nading, who manages greenhouse operations and more. Both bring past training and work experience to their jobs.

Durkan’s career has been varied from growing tropicals in Hawaii to driving a snowplow in Colorado. She went to Virginia Tech, then received a graduate degree from CSU in agriculture extension education, and recently, was maintenance account manager for a local landscape firm.

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Denver Landscapes passes 25 years Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Monday, May 09, 2022 02:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

“I grew up in Oklahoma with family members who were farmers, ranchers, or in construction or general contracting,” says Shane Meyer, owner of Denver Landscapes. “I had a strong work ethic and was business oriented. And I had access to the many tools of various family members and became very handy. I could build most anything and I learned to repair everything we owned.” This skill set would serve him well. When at the University of Oklahoma, his high school mowing business evolved and he taught himself how to repair sprinkler systems.

When a friend moved to Colorado and invited Meyer to visit, he applied for a summer job as an irrigation tech and learned even more. After moving to Colorado in 1994 to work for his former boss, he learned the business was being sold and the new owner planned to replace Meyer with his son.

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Tip of the Week has been re-vamped. Share for FREE! Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Monday, May 09, 2022 01:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

We, at ALCC, are excited to announce the re-vamp of our “Tip of the Week” emails. Tip of the Week has been a huge success and we are thrilled to offer this revamped member benefit.

Our intent is to now make Tip of the Week available to all our members and to all our members' clients. ALCC will now give you permission, FREE of charge, to add your logo/brand to the email and to forward Tip of the Week to your clients.
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When is the right time to hire an HR manager? Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Monday, April 25, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Zak George, owner of Zak George Landscaping (ZGL), Fort Collins, says “In my opinion, once you cross the 50-employee mark it’s worth having an HR department, if the company has a growth mindset.” He thought it was time in 2019 for his company. But he took his time. He wanted the right fit.

At the time, ZGL had around 30 year-round employees with numbers growing to nearly 80 when including seasonal employees—both H-2B and nationals.

In late 2019, ZGL hired David Curtis as the company’s first HR Manager. “People were probably curious to see how it would work out,” Curtis reflects. “I have a degree in psychology, not HR, and this was a new position at the company. Among other factors, I think Zak hired me because of my experience managing a branch within a large corporation where I often handled the HR functions."

Read more...
 
CALCP gives back at 2022 Day of Service Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Monday, April 25, 2022 03:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Members of the Colorado Arborists and Lawn Care Professionals (CALCP) came together April 8 to donate their time and talent to make a difference in the community. Held annually, the CALCP Day of Service finds a non-profit organization in need of lawn and tree care and offers to help. This year, it was Gateway Domestic Violence Shelter where they pruned trees, fixed the irrigation system, sprayed for weeds, laid down mulch, and cleaned up the debris.

CALCP had the opportunity to make a small difference for those women and children in need of shelter and a safe space. Volunteers provided a host of services to the exterior making it more inviting for residents. Minimal funding has meant that little is available for outdoor upkeep.

“I'm pleased with the amazing work our volunteers provided to make an unfavorable situation just a bit more welcoming for the residents,” said Dayna Macbeth, president, CALCP board of directors.

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Pathways schools sell plants for Mother’s Day and more Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Monday, April 25, 2022 02:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Students at three Career Pathways high schools and one community college are busy potting up plants grown in their greenhouses for annual Mother’s Day and spring plant sales. Platte Valley High School in rural Kersey, Greeley West High School, Westminster High School and Pickens Technical College, Aurora, have long traditions of growing annuals, veggies and more while teaching students propagation and growing techniques, irrigation, customer service and business management. Greeley West will also showcase their new greenhouse with an Open House May 14-15, 2022.

If you are near any of these schools during the dates below, consider dropping in to support the plant sales and local horticulture programs. Many people in the industry today are here because they found a passion for plants in their school’s greenhouse.

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ALCC back on 9NEWS Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Monday, April 25, 2022 01:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

And we are back! After a 2-year hiatus, due to COVID, ALCC is back on Channel 9 News beginning April 22! Every Friday, ALCC will be a part of the 9NEWS backyard garden segments airing at 4:20 p.m.

This regular weekly segment and partnership gives us a chance to create a sustainable landscape at the Channel 9 station. We will be highlighting ALCC, and its members and leadership as industry experts in all things related to sustainable landscape design, installation and maintenance.

One of ALCC’s 2022 initiatives is to promote the Water Education Colorado campaign, Water’22 with water savings tips. Minor changes can have a significant impact. ALCC will continue to share water-saving messages for consumers, such as to continue planting drought tolerant plants. On April 22, ALCC expert Adam Thompson, from Brightview Landscape Services, provided tips for water-wise planning and planting.

As Thompson shared with 9News viewers, “What we want to do is reduce evapotranspiration while keeping plants and turf happy and healthy.”

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LatiKnow Leadership Committee kicks off Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, April 12, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Luis Estrada, account manager at Metco Landscape, Inc., Aurora, sees Latinos as an underutilized resource in the green industry and he is not alone. This year, ALCC has made it a priority to attract and engage more Latinos, including both Latino-owned businesses and Latino employees across the industry, and established a committee. Estrada is the committee chairperson. Originally called Latinos in Green, during the first meeting the group named themselves the LatiKnow Leadership Committee.

“There are many Latinos who could have careers in the landscape industry,” he says. “But they need more training and education. Training will elevate the Latino community and provide needed support for the industry.”

Marisol Medrano, human resources director at CoCal Landscape, and a member of Latino Leadership Institute (LLI) fellowship understands the issues companies face with the labor shortage and how engaging the Latino community is important. “We are glad we can bring our voice to the table,” say Medrano. “Many Latino businesses are small and business owners could use information to help scale their businesses.” Medrano is also on the LatiKnow Leadership Committee.

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