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NRCA Action Alert: Support Legislation to Improve H-2B Program

September 2016

NRCA is supporting legislation to improve the H-2B seasonal guest worker program, which is critical to many NRCA members who cannot always find workers to fill job openings during busy seasons. NRCA urges members to contact their senators and representative to urge support for H-2B amendments.

The H-2B program provides an opportunity for businesses to operate at greater capacity during peak seasons. However, burdensome regulations issued in recent years and outdated provisions have made the program more cumbersome for roofing contractors to use in a cost-effective manner.

In July, the House Appropriations Committee approved amendments supported by NRCA to annual appropriations bills that will improve the operation of the H-2B program for 2017 if adopted. One amendment provides for a "returning worker exemption," which is needed because the program's annual cap of 66,000 visas has not adequatelt met demand in a growing economy. Another amendment provides regulatory relief from regulations issued by the Department of Labor that hinder access to the program. Similar amendments were included in appropriations bills approved by Congress in 2015 for fiscal year 2016, which ends Sept. 30.

Congress is drafting a short-term spending bill (called a Continuing Resolution or CR) to keep the government funded beyond Sept. 30, when current funding authority expires. It is critical the H-2B amendments approved by the Appropriations Committee in July are included in the CR legislation to continue the opportunity for roofing contractors to use the program in 2017.

Take Action Now

NRCA is working to build support for the H-2B amendments and needs your help to communicate the roofing industry's support to lawmakers in Congress.

Contact your senators and representative and communicate the following points:
  • As one of your constituents, I urge you to support amendments to improve the H-2B seasonal guest worker program in the Continuing Resolution (or CR).

  • The H-2B program provides an opportunity for my business to operate at a greater capacity, retain full-time workers and contribute to the local economy.

  • Without the H-2B amendments in the CR, burdensome regulations and outdated limitations on visas will severely restrict access to the program for employers in 2017.

  • The amendments provide regulatory relief so it is easier for employers to participate while retaining protections for workers. Without this relief, my company may not have access to needed seasonal workers in 2017.
To email the above points to your representative, click here, find your representative's website, copy and paste the message above, and send via email.

If you don't know the name of your representative, you may find it at the link above by entering your ZIP code in the upper right-hand corner.

To email your senators, click here, find your senator's website, copy and paste the message, and send via email.

You may also contact your representative or senators by calling or visiting their district or state office.

If you prefer to telephone your representative or senator, call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 225-3121, ask for the office of your representative or senator, and tell the staff person who answers you are calling "in support the H-2B program amendments in the Continuing Resolution."

Please let NRCA's Washington, D.C., office know of any contacts made to your representative or senators by contacting Duane Musser or Nathan Pick at (202) 546-7584 or dmusser@nrca.net or npick@nrca.net.

Thank you for taking the time to contact your lawmakers. Remember, grassroots communications with members of Congress are critical to supplementing NRCA's efforts in Washington, D.C., on issues of importance to the roofing industry.

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