Interesting story showing the ‘other’ side of the H-2B Visa issue, but interestingly enough, note the last sentence in the quote.
Businesses in Bar Harbor, Maine are turning to locals to make up for a shortage of foreign guest workers that normally fill summer jobs in the bustling seaside resort town.
Because the H-2B visa program has already reached its annual quota, Bar Harbor’s hotels, restaurants and shops can’t bring in any more foreign workers for the rest of the busy summer tourist season. Like hundreds of similar coastal resort towns, Bar Harbor has for many years depended on the H-2B visas for temporary workers. The program allows non-agricultural companies to bring in foreign labor if they are unable to find suitable employees domestically.
Now they are coming up with creative ways to attract local labor, reports the Bangor Daily News.
The Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce will hold a job fair Saturday in an effort to recruit significant numbers of workers from the region. Just about every kind of business in the town is looking for help, says chamber executive director Martha Searchfield.
“All types of businesses — retail, restaurants, the tour boats, all the trips, everything. All types of workers are needed,” she told the Daily News.
The shortage is so acute that companies are sweetening incentives for local workers. Searchfield says some businesses are offering flexible schedules that might appeal to older workers who might be interested in working only a day or two each week. And other companies have gone so far as to offer higher wages to entice locals.