Monday, April 23, 2018

Worker Shortage


As some may already know, Contractors in multiple industries are dealing with a significant labor shortage. To address that issue, many contractors turned to the Federal H2B Seasonal Worker Visa Program created 19 years ago to legally obtain the necessary workers. Over the past 19 years, those contractors were required – by the H2B regulations and the U.S. Department of Labor – to first offer all their jobs to U.S. citizens. Over the last 19 years the economy has changed, and many contractors have only had minimal local applicants for the 1000's of seasonal job offerings throughout these years! These jobs are well paying, $14-23 per hour, plus overtime but nevertheless, contractors were still having almost no applicants.

           This year, the H2B Visa program became overwhelmed with almost 90,000 applicants for the 33,000 visas available nationwide. To be ‘fair’, the program held a lottery, and only 3 dozen companies in Colorado were able to participate – and hundreds of Contractors locally and across the United States failed to receive such visas.

           To address this issue, many contractors through lobbyists, trade associations, and professional industries such as Landscapers, Resort, Quarry, Fishing, Hotel & Lodging Industries, including other seasonal businesses descended on Washington D.C. with 300 plus H2B users to convince Senators and Representatives to increase the 33,000-visa cap that hasn't changed in 19 years.

         Congress recently passed the omnibus spending bill with an attached amendment to raise the visa cap, which would address the problem. The implementation phase has now been bogged down with the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), particularly the Secretaries, who must process the visas. Many are still waiting and would appreciate the support from voters to contact their Colorado Governor, their Congressperson, and Senators to get the DOL and DHS to immediately process the visas!

           Good Contractors to HOA's and individual Home Owners should continue in their effort to be transparent in preparing to try to perform – to the best of their available workforce – your maintenance services. Since contractors are significantly short of labor, the HOA does recognize that some owners who are planning on projects this season for their home may be limited in number of contractors that can get to return their calls and be able to schedule such work and will be glad to offer extensions to those in such need.  Many owners who cannot physically perform their own general home maintenance and rely on contractors may find difficulty obtaining contractors to perform items such as landscaping tasks of spring cleanups, mowing. leaf removal, aerations, fertilizations, tree work, and irrigation work where applicable.  If this scenario is yours, please reach out to the HOA and we will be glad to offer references for contractors that do not have such labor shortages.

           Please know the HOA will continue in seeking contractors that are able to perform Community duties as we begin our mowing, weed control, trash, dog stations, and irrigation inspections.  However, some Board Approved enhancements and projects may experience delays while contractors complete work with workforce available. The HOA will continue, to the best of their ability, address storm damage, hazards, warranty items, and repairs immediately.

           The Board Thanks Homeowners in advance for keeping your Community a wonderful place to live in with your personal homecare and those Volunteers to the Community in their continued support of managing budgets, landscape & architectural review to planning for the Community future needs while we acknowledge this labor shortage and yet continue to maintain the HOA's required responsibilities'.  Should you have older teenagers and/or College Students returning this summer seeking good work at good pay...send them my way... I know many contractors that would love to hire them!

Shane Lussier | Senior Manager CMCA®, CAM
Cherry Creek HOA Professionals
14901 E Hamden Ave #320 |Aurora, CO  80014 | 303.693.2118