If you aren’t at the table, you’re on the menu. If we don’t engage in ways that advance our interests, decision will be molded by others that don’t share our insights. I never realized how important this was or how effective I and other small contractors
could be until
Raul Berrios, NHLA Past President RulyScapes (Centreville, VA)
Why is this important?
The formation of the National Hispanic Landscape Alliance resulted from a number of key factors.
The tremendous growth in the number of Hispanic-Americans working within the landscape industry, by some estimates 80% of the entire landscape industry workforce in the U.S., Spanish-speaking laborers in entry-level roles that create demand for Hispanic- Americans to fill jobs as mechanics, supervisors, managers, and human resources professionals where their linguistic and cultural competencies are most beneficial. Hispanic-Americans also work as estimators and designers, and in accounting, sales and marketing, and other roles in large and mid-sized firms. The industry also presents great entrepreneurial opportunities, and a growing number of Hispanic-Americans are becoming partners, buying firms, or starting new companies. Today, more than half a million Hispanic-American families depend on the landscape industry for their livelihood.
Desire by successful Hispanic landscape industry professionals to realize even greater success and to help others, created an interest in sharing lessons learned. Relationships with other successful colleagues across the country can do much to help Hispanics and the companies they own or work for grow. It is especially true in these challenging economic times that knowledge and implementation of industry best practices can make the difference between success and failure.
The attention being paid by both political parties to Hispanic issues and a realization that the concerns of the landscape industry were not being identified among those, was also a factor. The growing political influence of the estimated 50.5 million U.S. Hispanics is fueled by their accounting for 56% of nation’s total population growth in past decade.
The limited involvement by Hispanic landscape professionals in industry associations resulted in our not being sufficiently engaged in the important policy discussions that impact our livelihood
A great need for additional and effective leadership existed to dissuade government actions threatening to cut demand for landscape services in half, increase labor costs by 50% or more, and make it virtually impossible for reputable landscape companies to source sufficient numbers of laborers to grow their businesses.