Texas Landscape Labor (The Impact H-2B Has on Your Landscape Contractor)

Ben Collinsworth

Landscaping, in most areas of the country, is a seasonal business. While some areas have seasons that last longer than others, there is still usually a peak growing and landscape maintenance season, as well as a season where less work is required to keep your outdoor spaces trim and tidy. This means there’s a period of time where landscape businesses need additional labor to get work done in a timely and consistent fashion.

As a result, the challenge landscape business owners face is they must ramp up their workforce in March and then wind that down for approximately three to four months out of the year in Texas.

Native Land Design truck in Texas

To ensure a smooth season for its clients, Native Land Design is constantly recruiting for various positions in its company. In addition, Native uses the H-2B program to supplement its workforce. The H-2B program provides nonimmigrant foreign workers with visas that enable them to temporarily work in the U.S. for nonagricultural employers who need them for seasonal, intermittent or peak load periods.

Here’s a little more about how this program works and how Native uses it.

How H-2B Works

To receive temporary workers through the H-2B program, U.S. employers must work well in advance preparing and following the proper protocol.

First, they must prove there are not enough U.S. workers who are able, willing, qualified and available to do the temporary work they need completed. Employing H-2B workers must also not adversely impact the wage and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. The need for these workers must be temporary, which is defined as a seasonal or peak-load need.

The amount of paperwork involved is substantial as well. Native starts preparing for the process at least one year in advance, investing a significant amount of time and money to ensure service goes uninterrupted.

As long as an employer follows all the rules of the process precisely, he or she should have little trouble ensuring they receive the additional, temporary help they need each year.


Understanding the H-2B Cap

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security limits the number of H-2B visas it approves each year. And landscape contractors are not the only businesses requesting these workers; for instance, other businesses like ski lodges, restaurants and other businesses with seasonal demands or peak business periods, use this program as well.

While there is an annual cap on the number of visas, the Department of Homeland Security will authorize a limited number of additional visas for businesses that have a later start to their peak seasons.

 

While the news of the H-2B cap being reached early each year tends to resonate in the news, companies like Native Land Design who have used the H-2B program for 14 years and have consistently completed the proper paperwork and due diligence don’t often face any problems receiving their supplemental employees each year. Should Native never fail to receive these additional workers, the company is constantly recruiting internally and in its local markets to continue to try and find the help it needs.


Taking Care of Our Employees and Our Clients

While Native uses the H-2B program to supplement its workforce, it still keeps many of its staff on all year long, particularly all of its crew leaders and managers. But because Native’s demand for work grows 50 percent from March through November, this supplemental labor is required. Native also receives the same workers each year through the H-2B program, so they have become familiar with Native, its processes and its clients.  

Native Land Design is confident in the H-2B program and its ability to help us serve our clients’ needs. If you want to learn more about jobs at Native or how we supplement our seasonal workforce with H-2B workers, contact us at 512-918-2270 or fill out our contact form online today.

 

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Ben Collinsworth

About

Before Ben founded Native Land Design in 2001, he earned a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M University. He’s an active member of ASLA, HBA of Austin, NHBA, PLANET, and BOMA. Ben, his wife and their three children reside in the Cedar Park area.

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Native Land Design has reliably been servicing The Domain (Austin, TX) for four years and continue to be attentive and thorough in their care. We are extremely appreciative of their efforts and hope to have a long lasting relationship. We would recommend them to anyone looking for a solid commercial landscaping contractor.

Melissa Kreutner, Property Manager, Endeavor Real Estate Group