H-2B WORKER SHORTAGE IN COLORADO AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY
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.
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
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!