After the most challenging season in 28 years of YardScapes history- we finally had the chance to “really” celebrate!
Our team is (almost) all here after an unanticipated change in process with the H2B Nonimmigrant Program, which left us short 15 skilled seasonal Crew Leaders and Technicians – at the worst possible time.
We won’t get incredibly deep into the details, but in summary, unlike previous years, the process for securing Visas for our H2B team members was left to a random drawing this Spring, held right at the time we usually begin Spring cleanups. We were not “winners” along with 70% of the other applying companies, and the situation left us scrambling to keep promises already made in signed maintenance and construction contracts. As if it couldn’t get any worse, the storm of May 15th left many of our properties in utter ruins, some impossible to access without help from bucket trucks. Grass kept growing around massive trees uprooted by the tornados and macrobursts, and a great deal of our planned work stayed up in the air as the overwhelmed arborists scrambled to keep up.
It was not a great situation to put it lightly, and we did in fact fall short of a few clients expectations. With a skeleton crew of experienced employees, we got “fired” by a large commercial account responsible for 10% of our annual revenue. While we were fortunate to find some amazing new team members from the local area, efficiency was lacking and keeping consistent crews together was extremely difficult as priority decisions based on need constantly changed. Owners, Managers and some of our Admin Staff found themselves spending many hours in the field- mowing lawns, planting annuals, and tidying up properties on top of their normal duties. It was survival mode and seemingly unnecessary stress for five months but we are fortunate to have made it, unlike many other seasonal businesses that were shuttered due to similar circumstances.
So, naturally, after a full week of the team (sans Ramiro Yanez…he’ll arrive in August) working hard to catch up, the grill was lit, a few beverages may have been consumed, and we were able to relax, get re-acquainted and meet some of our new local Crew Leaders and Members. After a quick meeting, Shayne donned a pair of glasses for safety and fired a confetti cannon supplied by National Association of Landscape Professionals to “officially” mark the award of Landscape Industry Company Accreditation, and last but not least- honor Isauro’s (our first H2B employee and great friend) 15th year with us with the presentation of a Gold YardScapes belt buckle. It was a nice evening and we have a lot to be thankful for (as well as work to catch up on!).
To our friends and clients, thank you for celebrating with us as we “re-start” 2018 with all hands (plus a few more) on deck!
Last Photo Above: Ramiro Yanez. He’s still on his way but will arrive shortly!