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opportunity for our industry to rise to the occasion and show our communities and clients how much we can contribute to their everyday quality of life.


WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FOR THE NALP TODAY AND WHY? HOW DOES THE BOARD PLAN TO TACKLE THOSE CHALLENGES? I believe that labor is going to continue to be our biggest challenge, which seems crazy when so many Americans are currently unemployed due to the pandemic. The reality of our industry is that it’s very labor intensive and there are not enough people interested in performing such labor. We aren’t alone in the struggle to entice a reliable workforce. Most other trades in the construction and service industries are experiencing a similar shortage of labor. Part of this problem comes back to the perception of our industry. The NALP Foundation and the Industry Growth Initiative have done an amazing job at


creating increased awareness of the many benefits of the lawn & landscape profession. We need continued momentum in building awareness of our industry to progress forward in communicating the importance of and the opportunities within the lawn & landscape industry. The NALP Board understands the im- portance of our industry being welcom- ing to all, regardless of race or gender. We are committed to listening to and understanding the concerns of women, Hispanic, African American and LGBTQ communities. The more that we can understand these traditionally underrep- resented groups the better our associ- ation can help its members to improve the working environment of our diverse workforce. It is very important to have a culture of respect and understanding and I feel it’s difficult to truly understand unless we listen and put ourselves in the shoes of others. The NALP Board is prepared to listen and to build a culture


of respect and understanding within our association. The H-2B non-agricultural seasonal visa program has been critical in helping to supplement our shortage of season- al labor, but the program has become increasingly difficult to rely on due to steadily increasing demand for seasonal visas. Without this program our industry, like many other seasonal industries, will be held back from being able to meet the peak seasonal demands of our clients. NALP staff as well as volunteers on our Government Relations Committee have worked tirelessly communicating to our legislators the importance of the H-2B visa program. At times it seems like an uphill battle, but this program is too important to our industry as well as to the dedicated workers who choose to partic- ipate in the program. The NALP Board is committed to continue to provide resources to fight hard for those compa- nies and employees who participate in the H-2B program. TLP


CONTRIBUTE TO THE NALP ARCHIVE PROJECT By Justine and Linda Rothbart, NALP Archivists


The coronavirus pandemic has unimaginably shifted the world we know. Typically, our fast-changing pace leaves us little time for reflection. We feel a need to stay focused on the steps ahead. However, this pandemic has forced us to reflect on the past (along with anxiously trying to predict the future). While this global phenomenon has shifted our everyday life, it also has brought us back to an essential truth: understanding the past is one of our greatest tools for shaping the future. That’s why building the NALP Archives is important now more than ever. Since 2018, we have been building the NALP Archives from the ground up - gathering print and digital materials to create a digital archives where your history is easily accessible. As we continue to build the NALP Archives, we become even more aware of the amazing accomplishments NALP has achieved over the years. From launching Student Career Days in 1977 to partnering with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for a Clean Air Study in 1989, NALP has a broad range of accomplish- ments that need to be recognized and celebrated. Awareness and understanding of our shared history is central to our group identity and allows us to inspire and energize members’ commitment and engagement. It also


improves decision making among leadership and makes us better understand the present when we have concrete knowledge about our past.


With these principles in mind, focusing on building our collective history is essential. Creating the NALP Archives is a group effort, and we continually need your help and participation. If you’d like to donate materials (print and/or digital) please email archives@landscapeprofessionals.org. We’re looking for items that reflect NALP’s history: from print publications to photographs and videos. More specif- ically, we are currently searching for issues of Landscape Contractors News and ALCA Action Letter, publications printed in the 1970s through 2005 by the Associated Land- scape Contractors of America (ALCA) (original name of NALP). If you have any copies of either, please let us know. The NALP Digital Archives will be accessible to members and the general public soon - stay tuned for more infor- mation. In the meantime, visit the NALP Timeline to see a chronological view of NALP’s accomplishments over the years, https://tinyurl.com/y8p5kpve


“We are not makers of history; we are made by history.” -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


National Association of Landscape Professionals 39


LANDSCAPE INDUSTRY CERTIFIED EXTERIOR TECHNICIAN TEST NOW


AVAILABLE IN SPANISH The Exterior Technician test, which moved to an online format at the beginning of this year, is now available in Spanish. This program is designed to cover the technical aspects of exterior landscaping: installation, maintenance and irrigation. It offers five practice ar- eas: Hardscape Installation, Softscape Installation, Ornamental Maintenance, Turf Maintenance and Irrigation. The Landscape Industry Certified Exterior Technician is a self-study program. Exam fees for NALP members is $445 and includes enrollment plus proctor fees. For more information, contact cer- tification@landscapeprofessionals.org.


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