The National Hispanic Landscape Alliance (NHLA), which became part of the National Association of Landscape Professionals in March, has now become the Latino Landscape Network (LLN), with the goal of connecting and empowering the entire community of Latino Landscape professionals.
LLN will serve as a continuation of the work began by NHLA in 2011 to elevate Latino landscape business owners and be their voice in the industry.
“With the power and resources of NALP behind us, we are in a stronger position to advocate, educate, and engage the Latino demographic that makes so much of this industry successful,” says Tim Martinez, an Advisory Board member of LLN. “The work we are doing will not differ from the work that the NALP is trying to accomplish. Many similarities, but with a concerted focus on Latino owners and their team members with whom we are uniquely qualified to connect.”
LLN will advocate for 500,000 Latino landscape professionals at the local, state and federal levels of government on matters such as H-2B and applicator regulations.
“A lot of them probably don’t know a lot of the legislation or laws that are passing that are affecting them and I think the LLN would be that avenue for advocacy,” says Mari Medrano, an Advisory Board member of LLN.
Martinez adds they hope to deepen their relationships with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and work side-by-side with NALP to ensure the industry has access to seasonal labor needs.
LLN will also offer many types of education opportunities on topics such as safety, leadership, how to elevate your small business, financing, purchasing power and more.
“Today, we are reviewing the tools and resources that the NALP currently maintains and determining if we repackage those for the Latino demographic consumption,” Martinez says. “Envision the current video library of training material, but with voice-over or subtitle translation to Spanish, or the full translation of the most commonly downloaded forms and documents from the NALP library. For new content, we intend to partner with the Professional Development and Standards Advisory Council to ensure future offerings designed with the Latino end-user in mind.”
Martinez says the training and content delivery will look very different for a Latino landscape owner versus a front-line Latino team member.
“Our program delivery needs to be made available in a manner that ensures the most efficient absorption of the material,” he says. “Reaching and empowering a front-line team member to aspire to rise within their organization will require unique delivery mechanisms. Soft skill training and content will need to be taken out into the field and made as accessible as feasibly possible.”
Medrano and Martinez say one of the main topics they hope LLN can help with is how to grow your business.
“One primary goal that the LLN is targeting is to standardize the Level Up program and package it for Latino owners,” Martinez says. “Many will say that tips and tricks of the business are widely available and the key to success is in one’s ability to execute. I believe that. But specific to the Latino demographic, I am focused on breaking down any fears, trepidation, and lack of confidence that could come with owning your own business in this environment.”
Medrano says the other big element of LLN is the networking, as the NHLA site visits to each other’s companies were very beneficial in the past.
“We want to keep doing what we were doing with NHLA but in a bigger aspect now we’re with NALP,” she says.
Why You Should Join
LLN invites all Latino landscape professionals, company owners and business managers to join the network along with others.
“We’re open to a broader audience,” Medrano says. “I think it’s not just about Latinos, but all minorities and non-minorities. I think it’s the networks that makes it stronger.”
“Increasing the profile of underrepresented groups in our industry is a worthwhile cause that many wish to get behind,” Martinez says. “We would welcome participation from all vested stakeholders that share our passion for advancing this mission. Giving something back to the valuable Latino owners and front-line team members will make them better, the industry stronger, and my heart tells me it is the right thing to do.”
Martinez adds that when you can tell the Congressional Hispanic Caucus you represent X number of Latino member owners and workforce, doors begin to open. Aside from effective advocacy, LLN offers networking opportunities and the ability to leverage the all tools and resources available to NALP members.
“It introduces you to the broader landscape industry because it’s far bigger than just in our own community or our state,” Medrano says. “It’s a national industry, it’s huge and it’s growing so definitely take advantage of the networking and getting to know people on a broader level and broaden your horizons.”
Visit www.landscapeprofessionals.org/Latinolandscapenetwork to learn more, connect with others in the Facebook Group, or join the Network to receive news and updates.