ALCC news center
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."

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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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Meet Christy Eull, new ALCC communications director Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, April 12, 2022 03:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

“This opportunity feels like coming back to what I really love to do,” says Christy Eull, communications director at ALCC. “Communication is a thing we all do anyway but I love the creative part, the writing and crafting ways to get the information out. That is really my passion, being creative.”

Christy EullEull brings over 15 years’ experience in marketing communications, copy writing, digital marketing and more. She received a bachelor degree in marketing communications from University of Minnesota and a master’s certificate in business from University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. She’s a relative ‘newbie’ to Colorado, having come for the first time only two years ago when her husband got a job here. “I’d never been to Colorado but I knew I didn’t want to experience -54 degrees anymore. I wanted a warmer climate and he wanted the mountains. So here we are!”

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Women in Green Committee Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, April 12, 2022 02:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

ALCC’s Women in Green Committee was established to address recruitment and training of women for landscape industry careers. The first two meetings were focused on surveying ALCC members, specifically women working in the industry to learn about their work, needs unique to them, challenges, training desires and career goals.

They will also survey ALCC company owners and managers, most of whom are men, to find out whether they currently employ women and in what roles, and their collective interest level in recruiting women to their companies.

Ultimately, the committee hopes this data will inform ways to expand career options for women and strategies to recruit more women to the landscape industry. Brainstorming will continue on ways to market careers for women both within and outside the industry via social media and other means, mentoring, offering classes and skills training geared to women at ProGreen 2023, and outreach among Career Pathways high schools and colleges with industry-related programs.

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CSU ranks 9th in national landscape competition Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, April 12, 2022 01:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Colorado State University (CSU) ranked ninth among schools—based on total team scores—at the 2022 National Collegiate Landscape Competition (NCLC). Over the years, the CSU team has consistently ranked near the top of this event sponsored by National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP).

This year’s competition, held in person at North Carolina State University following two years of virtual events due to the pandemic, hosted approximately 500 students from more than 40 two- and four-year colleges and universities from across the country. Several CSU students placed within the top five in their chosen events.

The event is both a skills competition where students are evaluated on their ability to perform hands-on landscape tasks and a job prospecting opportunity. Landscape firms from around the country actively recruit students for jobs and internships.

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First Tom Trench scholarship awarded Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, March 22, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

ALCC awarded the first Tom Trench Memorial Scholarship to Angela Essex in March. Essex is in her first year of a two-year program at Front Range Community College (FRCC) studying horticulture with a focus on greenhouse management. This year’s scholarship was doubled by FRCC matching the funds awarded by the Trench scholarship.

The Tom Trench Memorial Scholarship was established in 2021 as an annual award to honor Trench, who passed earlier in the year, for his many years of service within the landscape community. He served as president of ALCC, was always a willing volunteer, and is remembered as a mentor, business resource and friend to many in the industry.

Three other scholarships were awarded to students enrolled at Colorado State University (CSU).

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Legislation update - gas-powered equipment Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, March 22, 2022 03:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Proposed legislation, Senate Bill SB22-138 Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, as originally written, requires a mandatory 2030 deadline for conversion of gas-powered landscape equipment to electric power. Last week GreenCO lobbyists and ALCC members met with the sponsor and other stakeholders to discuss industry concerns with the legislation. As of this week, the bill has passed the transportation committee including removal of the mandate and approving an incentive program.

SB22-138 addresses emission reductions of gas-powered equipment, specifically, “small off-road equipment used primarily in lawn and garden equipment, such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and chainsaws.” The bill as amended, if passed, would remove the original mandate deadline of 2030 for conversion to electric-power and provide a tax credit incentive for voluntary transition to electric-powered equipment.

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Irrigation Boot Camp SOLD OUT! Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, March 22, 2022 02:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

ALCC’s popular spring training for irrigation techs sold out all available slots at the event held at DBC Irrigation Supply’s Wheat Ridge location. Previous sessions held 2020/2021 had reduced capacity due to social distancing and were offered a total of only three times. Now that Boot Camp has returned, more techs are learning not only the ongoing importance of water management, but hands-on skills and strategies for keeping systems operational.

Instructor Lyle Fair has long been an advocate for irrigation techs being the “rock stars” of the industry. “Our water savings—or loss—is literally in their hands,” he says, “and every technician needs to value his or her contribution to conserving Colorado’s water.”

During 32 hours of training, participants learn basic irrigation concepts, system components and assembly, how systems work, troubleshooting strategies and system repairs. They also are introduced to programming controllers to manage water efficiently. Trenching equipment is showcased during one segment so that techs can see the machine operate and get an overview of safety and operational best practices.

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ALCC contributions to professionalism Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Tuesday, March 22, 2022 01:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

How does a fledgling landscape industry become professional and respectable? It happens one small step at a time and sometimes by leaps and bounds by those who believe in their industry. Following are some of ALCC’s contributions to several big steps forward over 60 years.

Water

  • At the table when “Xeriscape” was born in 1981
  • Was a leader in GreenCO’s defense of landscape water use during the drought of 2002
  • Promoted research in 2016 by CSU on The Hidden Value of Landscapes in our communities. Using only 3% of the water that’s left after most runs downstream to other states, research helped defend the need for landscape water in future droughts.
  • Launched Sustainable Landscape Partners in early 2010s and the Sustainable Landscape Management program in 2016

 Workforce training and recruiting

  • Launched Certified Landscape Technician (CLT) designation in 1989 and making it one of the top three most successful programs in the U.S.
  • Launched Irrigation Boot Camp training in partnership with Emily Griffith Technical College in mid-2010s and continues that training by ALCC to the present
  • Taught and continues to teach high school teachers with horticulture programs how to train students in basic landscape skills over the years
  • Launched the Landscape Career Pathways program in Colorado high schools in 2016
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Non-users of H-2B benefit from program Email
Written by Colorado Green NOW   
Monday, March 07, 2022 04:00 AM

Colorado Green Now

Because workforce is the Number 1 issue facing landscape firms, ALCC is urging both users and non-users of the H-2B program to reach out to their U.S. congressional representatives to call for immediate release of all supplemental visas that are available. “Any effort to bring more people into the industry helps ease the pressure on everyone,” says ALCC CEO John McMahon.

“Now that the cap of 33,000 H-2B workers nationwide has been met, it’s critical to put pressure on Congress to release all supplemental visas that are available,” says McMahon. He also notes that ALCC is currently working on the returning worker exemption to have key Colorado representatives champion legislation before Congress on the industry’s behalf. This exemption would allow workers who have been counted sometime during the previous three years NOT to be counted against the cap in a successive year. Doing so allows more guest workers into the workforce.

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