This week watch as the Harvesters explain a very important part of understanding your direct cost. It is your “HAWS”. Don’t know what that means? Watch this brief clip and they will explain!

They really had some fun with this one, but it’s a serious matter that most owners and managers don’t know. Soon you will be in the know!

So, when you see one of the Harvesters, they are going to ask you what your “HAWS” are. Will you know?

Learn more about the Harvest Way Academy

Ed Laflamme LIC

started his own business from scratch, built it up, sold it and then wrote a book about how he did it. So, he’s been there. He understands your frustrations, worries and concerns. Some of you may want to buy companies, while others may want to sell the one you own. You need expert assessment and guidance before you can move forward. Ed has experience in this area. He is recognized as a CLP: Certified Landscape Professional. Read Ed's full bio.


Calculating HAWS going forward is going nowhere but UP! Now that the H2B starting wage has been jacked to $15.65 / Hr how long do you think it will take for any and all employees (new hires included) to demand that and more? Our industry faces a wage shakeup that is historically unprecedented in scope.

My thoughts on this issue in no way knocks the actual hourly wage number (my firm already pays in excess of it)-landscape work is physically (and to a degree mentally) hard labor and as such should be compensated accordingly. My concern here is that such a large (50%) increase in a short period takes away our ability as employers to gage an appropriate wage level for entry level workers. Remember-$15.65 / Hr is the level now established for the “will train” worker-not the experienced hand.

John – totally agree. That number you quoted is an adjusted number set by your county, correct?

Ed- I believe and have been informed by other contractors that the Feds set this number. Last year the wage was $10.36/hr. No county in NJ has authority over wages. See below for DOL ruling:

Monday, 10 February, 2014 08:48
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently upheld the right of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to set prevailing wages in the H-2B guestworker program.

“The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirms the critical role of the Department of Labor, and shows that DOL was right all along: raising the prevailing wages for employers in the H-2B program is necessary to protect job quality for all workers—both guestworkers and the U.S. workers alongside them. The NGA has fought continuously to make sure that prevailing wages for H-2B employers are fair to all workers, and that employers don’t further disadvantage U.S. workers by taking unlawful deductions or kick-backs.”

In a nutshell the DOL has raised wages throughout our industry with this action at a time we can least afford it. I like to hire entry level people at $11-12/hr and see if they last. I start experienced people at $16/hr. Word hasn’t hit the street yet but we both know it will.


John – yes I agree DOL sets the wage rate but it’s my understanding that it is “by county” based on the cost of living in each area in each state.

That would explain the big jump in Bergen Cty NJ. I understand the de facto wage raise is necessary to live here seasonally for the H2Bs. My complaint is that it takes away our ability to arrive at a reasonable starting wage for our native workers who need to be trained. This genie is not going back in the bottle willingly.

Comments are closed.