At Christy Webber & Company, we know that our people are an integral part of our success. That’s why we have built our company with people of diverse backgrounds and abilities. We take a proactive approach to increasing and promoting diversity through our recruitment strategy.
Thanks to our people, we foster a work environment that stimulates innovation, team spirit, commitment, and excellent customer service. We are committed to the ongoing training and development of our employees; their performance is measured fairly using professional, objective criteria that demonstrate performance, productivity, and the accomplishment of goals.
If you’re interested in joining our team, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project Manager Intern
The Project Manager Intern serves as the vital link between CWL’s high-profile construction clientele and the Company to ensure that client expectations regarding quality and service are consistently met and exceeded for entire lifespan of projects, this includes but is not limited to installation, sales and estimating, project costing, billing, procurement and employee management. Click here to view the job description. To apply for this position, please send resume to email@example.com.
The Estimator internship will provide valuable experience to applicants with a variety of estimating duties focusing around bidding and proposal generation for Landscape Construction Projects. These areas of focus will include: plan take-offs, estimating, purchasing, composing letters and correspondence, field site visits, spreadsheet and database work, review and corrections. Click here to view the job description. To apply for this position, please send resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Human Resources Intern
Provides Human Resources compliance and administrative support to the Human Resources team by working on various projects. Click here to view the job description. To apply for this position, please send resume to email@example.com.
Landscape Designer – Level 1
Assist Landscape Architect and/or Sr. Designer on a variety of professional landscape design assignments. Click here to view the job description. To apply for this position, please send resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Under the supervision of the Carpentry and Facility Manager, the carpenter is responsible for performing rough and skilled carpentry work in the field and within the CW&C facilities. Responsible for helping with designs, building, installing, and repairing structures, fixtures, furniture, and other items using materials including wood and steel. Requires travel and occasional work from different offices throughout the Chicagoland area. Click here to view the job description. To apply for this position, please send resume to email@example.com.
Crew Member: Maintenance
Under direct supervision, Crew Members work outdoors as a team to maintain the functional or aesthetic value of a property. During green season, this includes sod laying, mowing, trimming, mulching, planting, watering, fertilizing, digging, and raking. During snow season, this includes clearing and maintaining property clear and free of snow and ice through use of hand shovels, blowers, and ice melting products. Click here to view the job description. To apply for this position, please send resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crew Member: Non-Union Construction
Under direct supervision, Crew Members work outdoors as a team to assist in improving the functional or aesthetic value of a property. During snow season, this also includes clearing and maintaining property clear and free of snow and ice through use of snow plows, hand shovels, blowers, and ice melting products. Click here to view the job description. To apply for this position, please send resume to email@example.com.
The Crew Leader is the driving force in field production and crew management. He/she is responsible for the quality completion of jobs and is held accountable for the tasks as delegated to them by the project’s Field Supervisor/Project Manager. During snow season, this work also includes clearing and maintaining property clear and free of snow and ice through use of snow plows, hand shovels, blowers, and ice melting products. Click here to view the job description. To apply for this position, please send resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Contract Administrator works alongside Project Managers to build Customer base, set up, and manage contracts. Click here to view the job description. To apply for this position, please send resume to email@example.com.
Watering Crew Leader
The Crew Leader is the driving force in the water management of various sites. He/she is responsible for the watering of various sites throughout the Chicagoland area and is held accountable for watering request as delegated to them by the project’s Operation Manager/Project Manager. During snow season, this work also includes clearing and maintaining property clear and free of snow and ice through use of snow plows, hand shovels, blowers, and ice melting products. Click here to view the job description. To apply for this position, please send resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watering Crew Member
The main function of this position is to water plant material and monitor the quality of plants at various locations. Click here to view the job description. To apply for this position, please send resume to email@example.com.
The sun has just risen over the tops of the skyscrapers that punctuate the city skyline. Work starts early during landscape season. It’s mid-May, and clients want their pots planted with annuals, their lawns manicured, and their landscape beds perfected before Memorial Day.
Coffee in hand, you pull up to our Rancho Verde headquarters, which is already buzzing with activity. Employees stream in on foot, on bikes, and in cars, a 500-strong workforce that’s as diverse as the city where we work, ready to conquer the challenges that lie ahead. Crews bustle through the yard, loading trucks with flowers and shrubs, soil and mulch, tools and equipment.
Did you really just hear a rooster crow? He’s announcing the day’s launch to our flock of laying hens. At the end of the day, you can take some of their eggs home.
You sit down and fire up your computer. New emails scroll in. You have seven unread since you looked late last night, and all of them are from Christy. You wonder if she ever sleeps. Two are addressed to the whole company. One contains words of gratitude to the staff and encouragement to persevere through our busiest time of year. She knows everyone has been running non-stop because she’s done it herself for almost three decades. The other is a plea to help her track down a missing roto-tiller. She knows it’s lost, and she’s determined to find it. “Seriously?” you ask under your breath. This company has 1,200 pieces of landscape equipment. How does the owner of a company this big know a roto-tiller is missing? But she knows. She always knows. Four are addressed to your team. They contain solutions to problems, observations about efficiency, and demands to do better. One is addressed only to you. There’s an art exhibit opening next week in Wicker Park and Christy knows you’re into the arts. You mark your calendar.
Your phone rings. There’s a problem. A supervisor is calling to tell you that the crew has a flat tire – the same crew that was going to plant the bed you promised would be beautiful by 9:00am. The shop has been notified, but the install will be delayed. You swing into action. The client needs to be notified. It’s too early to call her cell. You leave a voicemail on her office phone and back it up with an email. Several minutes later your phone rings again. The service truck has been dispatched. The flowers will be in the ground by 9:30am. Disaster averted.
You’re on a conference call. A big commercial client wants to turn a 15th floor roof deck with a small dog run into a landscaped outdoor sanctuary for their tenants. Their procurement department is on the east coast where it’s an hour later. They forgot about the time change, but no worries.
“Yes, we’d be glad to create a design and work up an estimate. We’ve installed some of the largest green roofs in Chicago. You should check our website for examples of our work.”
“Oh, by the way,” the client says, “we’ll need you to remove the existing dog run. The drainage is bad up there. There’s 10 years of, umm, accumulated animal waste in the aggregate under the artificial turf.”
“No problem,” you hear yourself say, as you furiously punch up an internet search for contaminated waste disposal Chicago, “I’m sure we can figure something out.”
“And one more thing,” the client adds. “We want to plant mature trees. We don’t want saplings. Can you get some bigger trees onto the roof?”
“We’ve encountered this challenge before,” you respond. “It will cost some money, but if it’s in your budget, we can use a helicopter.” You know this because a helicopter just lifted six large trees to the newly-designed eleventh floor roof deck of the Prudential building yesterday.
Hanging up, you write a quick email to Risk Management. The subject line reads “Helicopters and Dog Pee.” In your time at CWL, you’ve quickly realized that this job entails much more than the Zen of flower gardening.
The cacophony of noise in the open office has reached a crescendo. Phones ring non-stop. Small groups huddle in intense planning sessions. Collaborations focus on a difficult client, a delayed shipment of pavers, a design challenge, an unpaid invoice, a job-cost report that needs to be reformatted by IT. Coworkers offer suggestions, contemplate solutions, and shake their heads at the intensity of it all. Time is always of the essence. The world of big-city contracting is a pressure cooker. Veteran employees give today’s challenges some historical context for the rookies. They swear like sailors and break the tension with a joke. Problems crop up and get solved so rapidly it makes your head spin. But you’re adjusting to the pace. The adrenaline rush motivates you to push on.
The low steady hum of a busy office is interrupted by an audible cheer. People are exchanging high-fives. “We got it!” someone shouts. A smiling teammate walks by and gives you a pat on the shoulder. The weeks you spent pouring over blueprints, making calls, searching out the best plant and material prices, and researching labor rates has finally paid off. The company has been awarded a multi-million dollar project. And not just any project. An abandoned elevated train line cutting through the heart of the city is going to be transformed into a green oasis of parks and trails, and CWL will install the landscape.
You envision crowds of people stretching out over the next century and beyond whose lives will be improved by this new space. A quiet respite from the city noise. A lush relief from the endless asphalt. A place where people will exercise and congregate and celebrate. A new and important thread strengthening the fabric of the city. And you contributed. You’ve helped make Chicago a better place. No job has ever made you feel this intimately connected to the place where you live. It’s not even lunch time, and you’ve already done more work than most people do in a day, but the sacrifices pale in comparison to victories like these.
You move the phone several inches away from your ear so the shouting voice on the other end doesn’t erode your eardrum. As you try for the third time to explain that it’s been abnormally cold this spring, and you, as a landscape professional, cannot force the flowers to bloom, you step outside into the courtyard.
The scene you encounter looks like some quirky version of Eden. A koi pond gurgles at one end. Splashes of color spill in from every angle. “Maybe our perennials are blooming,” you think to yourself, “because we’re nice people.” You decide not to test this theory on the client.
At the other end of the courtyard the chickens scratch for grubs in the mulch. The company’s bee-hives are visible just around the corner. You start humming “Old McDonald Had a Farm.”
“What?” the client says.
“I was just saying we’ll be out before the end of the week to plant some annuals that are in bloom. We’ll make it look great.”
As you hang up, Christy shouts from the open door of the shop, where she’s been welding a broken truck bed. She wants to know if you’ve handled the complaint that was on her voicemail this morning. “I just got off the phone with them,” you say, as you walk toward the shop. “It’s handled.”
She reminds you to always return phone calls. It’s one of the keys to our success. She asks you to hold the tailgate. If you’re going to stand here and talk, you’re going to help. You’ve realized that everyone at CWL gets their hands dirty, and no one is above any task. This morning that means acting as temporary welding assistant.
At first you couldn’t understand why a landscape company in the city would keep honey bees and chickens. What is up with this place? Then you noticed how the faces of visitors light up when they encounter this surprise, this unexpected agrarian break from the ordinary urban humdrum. When you’ve been here awhile, it all starts to make sense. We’re all a little unusual. Odd pieces of an elaborate puzzle that come together in surprising ways.
The VP of Business Development asks if you can go to a lunch meeting. It’s not on your calendar, but you happened to be walking by her desk, and she was just thinking that your interest in urban agriculture might make you a good fit for this project. A local nonprofit wants to partner with Christy Webber Landscapes to install new community gardens in the Garfield Park neighborhood. The gardens will produce fresh food in the heart of a food desert. Labor will be provided by individuals coming out of the corrections system – individuals who will benefit from job training.
You sit down with local pastors, a well-known community organizer, and a representative from the Mayor’s office. It’s refreshing to work for a company that gives back to the community, a company where it’s not always about the bottom line. You didn’t wake up this morning thinking about a new opportunity, but here it is, and you roll with it. By the end of the meeting, the future of the project is in your hands.
Sporting a neon safety vest and a pair of pruners, you walk through Millennium Park, one of the crown jewels of the Chicago Park District. It’s a beautiful afternoon. The park is teeming with locals and tourists alike. People of every age, shape, and color pose for photos around Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, known locally as “The Bean.” You’ve only been in the park for five minutes, and you’ve already heard five languages. You’re reminded that Chicago is a world-class city, this is a world-class public space, and the company you work for not only installed the landscape, but also has maintained it since its inception.
You’re on your way to the Prudential building to prune the six trees that were lifted by helicopter yesterday. Your to-do list back at the office has grown to multiple pages, but you promised the client that these trees would get pruned before a ribbon-cutting ceremony this evening. It doesn’t make sense to send a whole crew, so you’re doing it yourself. The phrase “that’s not my job” isn’t spoken at CWL. Everyone pitches in when work needs to get done.
The scene from the new roof deck is stunning. You can see Navy Pier to the northeast, where company crews are installing a multi-million dollar paving job as part of the re-design of the biggest tourist attraction in the Midwest. You can see the just-completed Maggie Daley Park to the east, a site that the company will soon maintain. You can see the new Modern Wing of the Art Institute to the south, another site that was landscaped by CWL. Further to the southeast, you can see Grant Park with its iconic fountain, yet another significant landscape along the city’s lakefront maintained by the company. Even further to the south you can see the Museum Campus – home to the Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium, and the Field Museum – whose landscapes are also maintained by CWL. Next to Museum Campus sits Soldier Field, home to the Chicago Bears, which is another site landscaped and maintained by CWL. As far as your eye can see, the company’s influence dots the landscape.
You continue to think about the vast reach of the company as you drive back to the office, noting all the landscapes you’re passing that the company either installed or maintains. Several hotels, a public school, a police station, a fire station, a federal bank, a CTA office, a small residential park, numerous townhome complexes, and the United Center, where the Bulls and Blackhawks play. You realize that you can’t drive two blocks in Chicago without encountering a landscape that’s been transformed by the company where you work.
Back at the office, tired crews are rolling in from a long day in the field. You’re back at your desk, trying to complete an estimate for a complicated new project. You have a target price, but you can’t get the numbers to work out, and you keep getting interrupted. Accounting needs you to complete an invoice before the end of the day. The Asset Manager needs to know how many skid steers need to be dedicated to a project that starts next week. The Design team needs you to review their work on a proposal that’s due tomorrow morning. Toby, Christy’s Australian Cattle Dog, is chasing the chickens around the courtyard, and someone dressed head-to-toe in a beekeeper’s outfit is chasing the dog.
You decide to take advantage of the CFO’s open-door policy. He waves you into his office. This part of your job is all about the numbers, and this guy knows his numbers. By the time you’re finished talking, you feel like you’re walking out of an MBA-level class you just got paid to take. The final number is still yours to figure out, but you have a clear path forward.
The office is starting to empty out. Your to-do list hasn’t shrunk significantly, and you’re afraid if you really tally it up, it probably grew today. You could stay another three hours without catching up, but the work will be there in the morning, and you’re too mentally drained to continue working effectively.
Tired as you are, you reflect on what this job means to you. To be part of such a dynamic, committed team is motivational. To do work that improves the city in a real, physical way is meaningful. To solve complex problems and learn on the fly is stimulating. To catch the unexpected curveballs and weather the chaos is exhilarating. To work for a company that embraces anomaly and difference and diversity is invigorating. It’s not easy, but at the end of the day, it is rewarding.
“I had been pursuing an academic teaching career for almost a decade when I applied to work at Christy Webber Landscapes. I applied for a Project Manager position that was advertised on the website. When I interviewed, given my lack of landscape experience, construction laborer was the only position available. I took it. I considered it to be a short term placeholder job – just something to help pay the rent while I figured out what I really wanted to do. After a season in the field, working on a crew, I was given an opportunity to move into the office. I jumped at the chance. As I moved through the company, I worked as a snow removal manager, a maintenance account manager, a safety and training manager, an HR manager, a risk manager, and a fleet manager. I went wherever I was needed and threw myself into the job, learning as I went. Now, eight years later, I’m the Vice President of Assets & Risk. I’m beyond grateful for the professional growth opportunities I’ve been given at this company.”
– Jason Sloat, Vice President of Assets & Risk
Spring is here! The trees are beginning to bloom and the grass is emerald green. Look out for a burst of daffodils and tulips in the weeks to come.