The Chapel Valley Landscape
Mauricio Velasquez and Terri Feldhaus
than almost any other industry in the United States today, landscape
contractors and growers are experiencing an unbelievable influx of
immigrant workers. These predominately Hispanic/Latino immigrants
are forcing the industry to stand up and take notice of their
emerging diversity issues. They are asking some new and increasingly
complex and challenging questions. ANLA is one of our clients
(American Nursery and Landscape Association). DTG has formed a
three-way partnership between ANLA, Chapel Valley and DTG. Our
partnership has produced a "kit" of knowledge, tools,
tips, job descriptions and other advice. This kit is available on
our web site and through ANLA. So the biggest question ANLA is
facing straight up is……
What Does A
Landscape Company Have To Do To Manage An Increasingly Hispanic
retaining and managing an increasingly Hispanic workforce are
challenges that landscape companies across the nation are faced with
on a daily basis. In the last ten years the entire landscape and
grower industry has tapped into a labor force that has proven to be
the backbone of the industry.
Back in 1986 Chapel
Valley hired the first group of Hispanic workers (a total of 5).
Fifteen years later the company employs, during the peak season,
more than 175 Hispanic workers.
What is Chapel
Valley doing to manage this growing workforce?
all internal communication in both English and Spanish.
Performance Evaluation Forms
Individual Performance Evaluations
Monthly Individual Team Meetings
All postings and announcements
in-house training is done both in English and Spanish.
In-house training materials are available in both languages
a full-time bilingual liaison to assist with all
communications among workers, supervisors, and management.
This individual has in-depth knowledge of all the company
policies, procedures and labor laws, understands and promotes
the company's goals, has the ability to remain focused and
objective, and has strong mediation and coaching skills.
the Hispanic workforce to enroll in English classes and upon
completion the company reimburses the employee for the full
cost of the class.
a Literacy Program at both of our facilities and offer free
English tutoring after hours.
our English-speaking foremen and supervisors to learn Spanish
and enroll in classes, which will be fully reimbursed when
a strong commitment from management to support the development
of our Hispanic employees into leadership positions.
Hispanic workers participate in different task forces
throughout the year to help develop better incentives,
recruiting and uniform programs. · Have the commitment to
understand and willingness to adapt to different cultural
needs and diversity among our employees. · Provide regular
diversity training for all of our managers, supervisors, and
foremen. · Participate in government sponsored labor programs
in order to continue building depth in our workforce. · Get
involved with local and national industry organizations to
look for "best practices" and help lobby Congress on
specific immigrant-related legislation.
more information regarding Chapel Valley please contact Terri
Feldhaus directly at 410.442.2310. She is the fulcrum, the
lynch pin that holds all of their diversity-related endeavors
DTG is proud to
include Chapel Valley as a client, partner and now a resource to
other landscape and growing contractors. They are way ahead of most
of the industry yet they are willing to share with their industry
what they are doing and the tremendous success they are realizing.
Proudly sharing with
Mauricio Velasquez, President
DTG 692 Pine Street
Herndon, VA 20170 Fax 703.709.0591
P.S. If you are in
this industry and you have some "best practices" please
share them with us at DTG.