with Steve Navarro
The thing I am most excited about for the future with Embark Services is the potential for growth. We have worked hard over the last year to make some great connections in the commercial real estate and homeowners association sectors and are looking forward to the growth that is coming our way. The Greater Houston area offers so many opportunities to provide professional tree care services. We are a city of many master-planned communities, commercial real estate properties, health care facilities, educational campuses and so much more. Clients across all of these industries understand the important role trees play in the aesthetic of their property. Proper tree maintenance increases the safety of the property for tenants and visitors. Well-maintained, healthy shade trees can add color, beauty, and tranquility to a property, and can also help increase the value to the community at large. Employees and visitors may greatly appreciate the added shade provided in the parking areas, especially in summer months. In addition, healthy trees can also increase the overall property value of a commercial site, particularly for restaurants, cafes, shopping, and retail centers, as well as medical offices and other professional buildings. Embark is excited about the many opportunities to work with property owners and managers, who understand the importance of trees and tree health. Tree trimming, tree fertilization, and tree preservation are essential to the long-term health of your trees and tree health is our specialty.
Our biggest challenge continues to be finding the right people to add to our team. As we grow and expand, it is important that we are able to increase our workforce in tandem with our workload. The US is experiencing a historically tight labor market. The speed of the current recovery is far outpacing the last recession, and the supply of available jobs is still well above the demand from job seekers. Open roles posted on LinkedIn nearly doubled at the end of last year, as employers across the board are in a similar situation that Embark faces. These conditions make it both hard to find new people but also keeps us focused on retaining our current employees. Their opportunities for employment in the tree pruning industry are numerous right now so each potential employee that we meet typically has more than one company interested in hiring them. The same is true of our current employees. Our competitors are interested in their talents and have openings available. As cost of living increases across the board, we are also faced with the need to provide a cost-of-living increase to our existing employees.
At a time like this, Embark has to offer more to employees than competitive pay. Thankfully, the culture of our company has always been one of our strengths and now we get to lean on that to continue to grow our work force. Our culture is one that values each member of our team as part of the family. Each of us understands that we have both internal customers and external customers. We strive to provide the best experience for both sides of the business. We treat our employees with respect for the work that they do and the part that they play in Embark as a whole. We value their lives outside of the workday and work to offer a long-term career path that allows for growth personally and professionally. In return, we believe the culture of our company will help us both attract the right people for the job and retain them for years to come.