I’ve been following Puerto Rico news this weekend as our Democratic candidates both campaigned there in advance of the island’s June 1 primary. This article from the Vail Daily caught my eye.
Facing a seasonal labor shortage, Vail officials traveled to Puerto Rico this spring to recruit workers. Vail Human Resource Department official Krista Miller was interviewed for the article:
….fewer seasonal visas are available to businesses such as landscapers and rafting companies around Vail, and that has only worsened the labor crunch, Miller said. The town’s human-resources officials traveled to Puerto Rico this spring to test the waters for recruitment.
The town may end up employing Puerto Ricans in the winter, too, Miller said. Recent changes to visa rules could make it more difficult for the town to secure enough H2B visas for the bus drivers and parking attendants it needs in the winter.
Vail also faced a problem with returning workers on HSB visas:
Last year, the town employed about 35 Australian bus drivers and parking-booth attendants on H2B visas. But exemptions for returning works recently expired, and the town may not get all the H2B visas it needs under a nationwide cap of 66,000 visas a year.
Since Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, there are no immigration issues associated with their employment.