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  #1  
Old 12-25-2012, 10:07 PM
Pittsburgh Stone83 Pittsburgh Stone83 is offline
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Location: Pittsburgh,Pa
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Employees a problem? I may have a solution. Feed back urgent!!!

I read last year a quote from Bill Gates that when he was asked what is the most important part of running a business was he replied "Time management". What dictates the majority of our time as business owners each year is the responsibilities delegated to our employees. Thus...

Every year it's the same situation with employees. Recruiting and keeping key employees to grow your business, help your economy, and strengthen the industry. The same problem occurs and we participate in the same ridiculous rat race. In the Pittsburgh area there are trade schools filled with fresh candidates in Heating/Cooling, electrical. plumbing, carpentry, masonry, mechanics, and now gas wells but nothing for landscape/hardscape/lawn industry. A multi billion dollar a year industry and no formal education short of 1 to 3 day classes. Not having these resources makes our jobs as business owners, unnecessarily and tremendously difficult for various reasons:

1. It lets current employees know how tough it is to find replacements and at times work below company standards as a result. If they knew there were trade schools pumping out fresh recruits productivity would be up because employees know they are replaceable and turnover would be drastically reduced. We can exhaust far less energy dealing with unaccountable employees and excessive time and stress finding new recruits.

2.The Money and time that is lost each year from current employees training new employees basic field skills on site would be turned into money in your pockets or extra time to use at your leisure.

3. Having a school or academy that has atleast a 6 month program would let us know directly from the instructors the candidates potential, strengths, and skills. Rather then us taking the yearly gamble. Not to mention possible intern programs.

4. Keeps employee money in local economy. Immigrants are sending close to 75% of their pay across the border in opposed to fueling our economy and strengthening our country.

5. Having educated entry level employees enables new business owners to reduce the number of hats they wear. I believe so many businesses fail or struggle due to the owners being a salesman, designer, book keeper, mechanic, foreman, and technician as I witnessed my Dad doing for 25 years.

The list goes on. I believe implementing education for entry or immediate level personnel is imperative to improve and strengthen our industry, quality of life, and put a dent in this employment issue plaguing the country. I have started to get the ball rolling but I need your help to prove to the distributors, manufacturers, and congressman that we are in severe need of these resources. If you care about the future of your company, the industry, and want to take your business and life to the next level I need your feedback to show the powers to be the problem is universal. As there is strength in numbers. Let me know your feedback as I am taking this situation seriously and want to have a plan in action during the winter season as this concept won't happen over night.

Thanks everybody and Merry Christmas!!
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  #2  
Old 12-25-2012, 10:23 PM
djagusch djagusch is offline
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Location: MN
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I don't agree, right now there is too many going on to higher education. They make it so easy to pile on debt to the students which they don't have a clue on how the payments will affect their lives later on.

K-12 right now is also a problem as it seems like they gearing them up for college not the real world.

I can train them and do so within timeframe/budget that works in our industry. What I can't do is give them a work ethic or instill them with values that is missing in our current culture.

Give me a guy with a good work ethic and ill make him a good employee with a decent wage.
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  #3  
Old 12-25-2012, 11:21 PM
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alldayrj alldayrj is online now
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I agree with djagusch. I want to teach my guys how to do it my way. you cant teach hard work, loyalty or honesty. thats all i really need in an employee.
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  #4  
Old 12-25-2012, 11:46 PM
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show-n-go show-n-go is offline
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Our local vocational schools have programs for landscape and grounds care. I have been gone since 96 and they didn't have hard scape back then but might now.
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  #5  
Old 12-26-2012, 01:34 AM
Will P.C. Will P.C. is online now
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I like the outside the box thinking. I believe most of the 'trade schools' offer some type of property maint/grounds programs already. It seems that you are pushing for more 'hands on' training.

Most of these schools are expensive. Even the local community colleges are pricey and would require one to go into debt. Why go into debt to use a stick edger or hold a shovel all day for 8/hr? I can understand someone wanting to go into debt for electrical work or something similar.

Part of what makes the landscape business so enticing is little to no barriers for entry for both employees and employers.

If someone spends 2 years in school to work as a landscaper, he will be looking for the next best thing while employed by an owner. The turnover will still be high.

Sounds like a great deal for employers, but horrible deal for employees
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  #6  
Old 12-26-2012, 04:04 AM
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lawnkingforever lawnkingforever is offline
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Location: Pittsburgh PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Will P.C. View Post
I like the outside the box thinking. I believe most of the 'trade schools' offer some type of property maint/grounds programs already. It seems that you are pushing for more 'hands on' training.

Most of these schools are expensive. Even the local community colleges are pricey and would require one to go into debt. Why go into debt to use a stick edger or hold a shovel all day for 8/hr? I can understand someone wanting to go into debt for electrical work or something similar.

Part of what makes the landscape business so enticing is little to no barriers for entry for both employees and employers.

If someone spends 2 years in school to work as a landscaper, he will be looking for the next best thing while employed by an owner. The turnover will still be high.

Sounds like a great deal for employers, but horrible deal for employees
Yep. Not much of a barrier for employees or ownership in the landscaping bus. schooling will not help much. Is there some degree of skill involved in general lawn maintanence? Yes, but not anything a meticulous owner can't accomplish. Like others have said, I would rather take someone with minimal skills and a good work ethic and show him/her the way things are done.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:14 AM
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1idejim 1idejim is offline
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You are describing a skilled labor hiring pool.

Also known as union hall.
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  #8  
Old 12-26-2012, 06:53 AM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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UMW - United Mower Workers.
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  #9  
Old 12-26-2012, 07:33 AM
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jrs.landscaping jrs.landscaping is online now
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A buddy of mine went to a school to get his CDL for 8k. Then he wanted to learn how to be an operator for 12k. When he was done he got a construction job for $11.50 an hour Needless to say he no longer does construction and wasted 20k on needless training.
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  #10  
Old 12-26-2012, 08:37 PM
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cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs.landscaping View Post
A buddy of mine went to a school to get his CDL for 8k. Then he wanted to learn how to be an operator for 12k. When he was done he got a construction job for $11.50 an hour Needless to say he no longer does construction and wasted 20k on needless training.
In this new economy, that's not uncommon, there are tons of people that have spent thousands on higher education only to be put on the streets by their companies and forced to change careers. Actually, I am one of them.

Anyway, I would think that someone coming out of a college level landscaping program is probably going to be looking at a mgmt postion not a laborer job, and if he's smart enough to get through college he's probably gonna start his own business, at least that's what I did. I think I get what your saying not sure it's practical, but good idea anyway. I think what the industry needs more than anything is a state licensing test mandate to start a business.
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