ALCC news center
Houzz: Growth strong for residential market Email
News
Thursday, March 12, 2015 06:23 PM

Healthy landscapesLandscape pros showed highest strength over other home-related professions (architects, interior designers, builders/remodelers, specialty trades, etc.) in 2014 with 84% reporting that annual revenues met or exceeded their expectation.

Comparative growth data for the residential landscape market and related professions was reported in the U.S. Houzz Barometer Highlights for February 2015.  Findings showed strength in the residential market during 2014 and point to continued, but more stable growth for 2015.  Stats reveal a variety of trends related to homeowner buying habits and that small landscape firms can expect company growth.

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Building a jobs pipeline Email
News
Thursday, March 12, 2015 06:22 PM

“Career pathways” is the new buzzword across many industries where job skills – including hands-on trades skills – are valued often more than pure academics.  It’s a concept that currently is represented in several bills in the Colorado State Legislature and it’s a project that ALCC is already spot on.

A package of bills called the “Colorado Ready to Work” program has bipartisan support in the legislature and both Democrats and Republicans agree it is among their highest priorities for the 2015 session.  

How will "Colorado Ready to Work" benefit industry?

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Are you irresistible? Email
News
Thursday, March 12, 2015 06:21 PM

Whether it’s corporate America or the little company down the street, making your company irresistible is the key to recruiting and keeping good people.  And it’s not just about money.

Compensation ranks among the top 5 drivers toward employment, but more money and benefits won’t guarantee loyalty.  In other words, once pay is competitive and fair, other issues have a much greater impact.  There are 4 key areas where companies can become irresistible.

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Use designs to sell home security Email
News
Thursday, March 12, 2015 06:20 PM

Front of homeBurglars usually take no more than 60 seconds to break into a home; most burglaries occur between 10 am and 3 pm and last 8 to 10 minutes.  And the typical burglar is a young teen male who lives within a few miles of the home.   

Consequently, strategies for deterring home break-ins should take into account that they are committed by amateurs.  Police officers often recommend a strategy of relatively simple crime prevention through “environmental design.”  The principles they turn to are already within the designer’s toolbox and include natural surveillance, territorial reinforcement, access control and “target hardening.”

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Use compact loaders to replace shovels, wheel barrows and more Email
News
Thursday, March 12, 2015 06:19 PM

small equipmentThe landscape industry has long relied on steel with revved up motors to get things done.  Machines move jobs efficiently and with less back strain.  Now, with the shortage of labor, companies are using them even more as they rely on compact equipment to carry more of the load on jobsites.  

The value in small equipment, particularly walk-behind compact loaders, is that it allows work to get done faster and with fewer people than ever before.  Will Hyde, Mile High Landscaping, Lakewood, says, “Every time someone climbs into a small loader as a driver, all the safety steps have to be followed for the seat belt and for starting them.  And you have to be careful getting in and out.” 

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Cell phone liability extends to employers Email
News
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 11:00 PM

 

Employers can be liable for distracted drivingEmployers: You could be liable for employees talking on their cells while driving during work hours – and even while driving to and from work. That sobering thought may prompt owners and managers to set specific policies and to train all employees about when use is restricted for their mobile devices.

Consider that 80% of the nation’s 94 million cell phone users talk on their phones at least sometimes while they are driving. And the issue is not hands-free versus hand-held devices. Studies have indicated that it is not holding the phone in a hand that should otherwise be on the steering wheel, but it’s the conversation itself, that impairs driving.

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Are you using ALCC’s FREE classified ads? Email
News
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 10:00 PM

 

ALCC classifieds are free for membersWe know landscape companies are finding employees by posting job ads on alcc.com. And we can also tell you many companies are not making their ads as effective as they could be.

If you take a few minutes to update company info behind the scenes and then follow some tips for the info that is in your ad, you will increase your effectiveness in reaching job seekers. Here is our checklist:

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7 Steps to Strategic Success in 2015 Email
News
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 08:50 PM

 

7 questions for a successful yearJeffrey Scott, The Leaders, Edge, spoke last month at ALCC’s CEO Exchange in Denver. In this article, he encourages companies to use this time leading up to a new season to gain clarity and direction. His advice is to set your company up for “sweet success” by assessing the past year in broad strokes and then setting your sights on clear, long-term objectives.

Here are Scott’s seven questions to help get yourself and your team focused. Answering these questions as a team can greatly improve your chances for success in 2015! Schedule time ahead – and work together to arrive at the best answers.

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How green is your vision? Email
News
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 08:00 PM

 

ALCC Sustainable Landscape PartnersHave you ever found it ironic that within what is truly the world’s first and foremost “green” industry that “going green” isn’t just assumed? Maybe that is because the proverbial “going green” means many things to many people – and to many landscape businesses.

For some, simply getting the turf down green side up and as quickly as it can be done is their high-powered version of going green. For others, it’s salvaging, saving and repurposing every possible bit of material on a job site.

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Two companies share what they learned from DOL audits Email
News
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 11:00 AM

 

Scot LeDue and Marie Peacock, ALCC membersLast season, many landscape companies were audited by the Department of Labor (DOL). Here, Scot LeDue, vice president/general manager. A Perfect Landscape, Inc., and Marie Peacock, owner GARDENZ, interacted directly with auditors when their firms were audited last season. Here, they share lessons learned and advice for others who may be visited by DOL this season.

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Most common DOL violations Email
News
Written by Christy Eull   
Thursday, February 12, 2015 01:00 AM

US Dept of Labor

In 2015, the US Department of Labor (DOL) will be performing investigations targeting the landscape industry for the fourth year in a row. Do you worry that you'll be chosen for an audit from the DOL? To help you prepare your business for an audit, it's a good idea to review your obligations according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

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Most common DOL violations guest Email
News
Thursday, February 12, 2015 01:00 AM

 

US Dept of LaborIn 2015, the US Department of Labor (DOL) will be performing investigations targeting the landscape industry for the fourth year in a row. Do you worry that you'll be chosen for an audit from the DOL? To help you prepare your business for an audit, it's a good idea to review your obligations according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

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Secrets of a former DOL auditor Email
News
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 10:00 PM

 

AuditFormer DOL investigator talks about audits: Get her inside story about what you need to know and do

Landscape companies have been a specific target of the U.S. Department of Labor: Wage and Hour Division (DOL WHD) for several years. According to the U.S. DOL Data Enforcement website, landscape companies agreed to pay more than $20 million in back wages to their employees between 2006 and 2012 for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act - an amount that does not include other charges such as penalties and damages.

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