A Letter From the ALCC President | June

Great news - most counties in Colorado are in blue with many going to the clear category in the last few weeks. With COVID cases down and restrictions being lifted, we in the green industry are faced with additional curveballs from historic spring rainfalls to COVID-related shortages.

Currently all industries are experiencing unprecedented circumstances ranging from supply chain shortages, rising shipping costs and manufacturing delays. With the spring demand for materials on the rise, along with other economic stresses, manufacturers have had a hard time keeping up with production. Many of our industry suppliers are expecting the possibility of demand to outpace the production capacity well into the summer and for the remainder of 2021.  This along with more than 7.5 inches of rain along the Front Range are circumstances that have caused many delays in spring production. After being in the industry for more than 29 years, I have witnessed that the people in our industry are strong, resilient and adaptable, and I am confident that we will all get through this and be better on the other side. 

With "Days on the Hill" going virtual on June 14, it is important that we all continue our advocacy and involvement for our seasonal workers. ALCC is coordinating meetings for the Colorado delegation to speak with our Senators and Representatives; I hope you'll join us. 

On May 21st, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor announced a temporary final rule increasing the cap on H-2B nonimmigrant visas by up to 22,000 additional visas through the end of the fiscal year 2021. I am encouraging you all to continue our campaign to our legislators and stress the importance the H-2B program to our businesses. As businesses continue to reopen, many of us are finding the need for labor is in short supply.

Just as we banded together in spring 2020 to support each other and our businesses during the initial COVID lockdowns, I know that we, as an industry, can work together to find solutions to the ongoing labor shortage. I encourage you to get involved with advocacy, whether it's through attendance at Days on the Hill, calling or emailing your legislators, or volunteering your time to help the Landscape Career Pathways program. ALCC staff are working to help the program rebound after the 2020 COVID crisis slowed its growth and, in some cases, shut down programming altogether. 

As always, we are stronger when we work together. I look forward to working with you to strengthen our industry. 

Sincerely,

Phil Steinhauer
ALCC Board President
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