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Who's being hurt by the H2B VISA change-up?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Damian, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. Damian

    Damian LawnSite Member
    Posts: 242

    For the past few years - per my understanding - returning workers have not been counted against the quota numbers allowed in every year. It seems to have changed this year. In the past, we would be getting workers back in late January - which, honestly, was really too early, but we took them back to try to keep the same workers and deal with those customers who really felt they needed service (we have already had a number of customers wanting us to mow this week.)

    This year, we'll be lucky if we get them by mid-March.

    We have tried to hire American, but honestly, all we get are people wanting their unimployment forms signed. Also, truthfully, I'm making more money now than I was before we started using the H2B program just because the owners have had to pay them more and me in turn

    So, anyone else in the Southern states worrying about how they're going to get by the first couple of months of this season?
  2. patron

    patron LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    If your getting workers this year YOU are one of the lucky ones. A lot of LCO's are not getting any workers as of right now.

    Don't be surprised if some people around here say you could hire American if you only changed the amount you compensate the new hires.
  3. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    How much do you pay h2b workers? And are there any charges to get them here?
  4. steve5966

    steve5966 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 210

    The two local big players in our market are short 100 workers because of the H2B problems. From what I have heard they will not be lowballing this year. I don't think we will have to worry about them taking our employees, they pay very low.
  5. Marek

    Marek LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,385

    Complete Landscaping here in MD is short 60 workers from what I was told today. Not sure if its true or not. Most of thier guys will be back next week. Who else is having trouble?
  6. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    I friend of mine has been using the same guys for over 5 years. He has 7 or 8 crews. He's not really sure what is going to happen at this point. Scramble thats for sure.

    One thing for sure. He won't be able to place an ad and hire any quality help. Good pay or not it doesn't matter. The only people who apply for this type jobs are low lifes with an agenda.

    it sucks.
  7. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    I have gotten smacked twice by the H2B debacle.
    I'm out over $10K for two years of attempted entry into this visa process.
    I have finally given up on it.
    Perseverance and being damn mule headed has finally paid off as I have assembled the nucleus of my employees - it has only taken seven years and over 172 dip@#$%$.
    I have tried everything to motivate, attract, retain and train employees.
    Now it is my way, and only my way. No free lunches, no advances on pay, no hand holding. Basically running my crews the way I ran platoons in the US Army.
    The result? My crews are non drug using, attentive, professional and happy. When I instituted my irrevocable employment policies these guys actually thanked me as the dip@#$%$ got winnowed out real fast.
    Now when I need employees, which the next three are going to be hired with-in the next month, I have a running roster of guys/girls whom have approached me as they first spoke with my crews and were impressed how content they are. As a side effect, other companies have tried and failed to hire my crews away because of their contentment.
    My screening process now starts with:
    Mandatory drug screening
    Must have a valid drivers license/reliable transportation
    Must past a background check
    Must sign the employment policy agreement
    Must agree to a probationary period
    Must meet/greet the crews - whom have a voice towards hiring or not. I have the over ride authority obviously but crew harmony must be maintained.
    I understand this process won't work for many - but it sure as hell works for me.
    And since it is my name and company, thats what matters.
  8. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    so what do you do with your guys in the off mowing season and how many are you talking about?
  9. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    Mowing comprises approximately 40% of my company's total sales volume.
    The remainder consists of landscape installs, irrigation installs, turfgrass installs and other facets of grounds maintenance.
    I was running eleven guys comprising three crews all the way up till mid-Dec, now I am at six. Any slow time I experience is shared equally among these crews yet attrition has winnowed me down to six people right now.
    The slow time appears over as I have seven estimates nearing contractual affirmation, a mixture of high end residential and moderate commercial but I have one large commercial account getting ready to commit to almost $200K worth of work.
    When all of this ignites with-in the next three weeks, the three I mentioned are already hired which will return me to nine full time employees. Depending upon the extent of the spring rush I may go back to eleven but I doubt it at this time.

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