CLCA Extends ‘Helping Hand’ to Unlicensed

The California Landscape Contractors Association recently launched Operation Helping Hand, a program intended to encourage licensing among industry contractors.

The California Landscape Contractors Association is taking a new approach to the unlicensed operator problem. It is encouraged unlicensed individuals to obtain their contractor’s licenses and helping them get started. One might call this the “carrot approach.” It’s in contrast to the “stick approach” the association has long used, with mixed success.

The carrot approach began last year when the association launched Operation Helping Hand. Through this program, which was largely the inspiration of 2001 CLCA President Jeffrey Sheehan, CLCA headquarters provides participating association members with countertop displays and brochures intended for unlicensed individuals purchasing landscape supplies. The brochures are titled. “Unlicensed and tired of it?” The make a strong case that licensure is critical to making “the big money” in landscaping. They also demystify the license application process and mention a packet of free informational materials from CLCA.

When these unlicensed individuals respond by contacting the association, CLCA headquarters not only sends them the Operation Helping Hand information packet, but it gives them the name and phone number of a contractor “mentor” who has volunteered to answer questions about the license application process.

Currently there are two Operation Helping Hand mentors, Sheehan and Ed Wallace of Midwest Landscaping, Long Beach, Calif. Additional mentors are needed. Members interested in volunteering should contact Larry Rohlfes at 800/448-2522.