In the wake of the partial government shutdown and debate regarding border security, Congress is considering appropriations legislation to provide funding for the Department of Homeland Security. NRCA is urging Congress to include provisions to reform and improve the H-2B seasonal guest worker program, which is used by NRCA members who cannot always find local workers to fill job openings during peak season.
NRCA has issued an Action Alert asking NRCA members to urge their members of Congress to help address the roofing industry's workforce needs by providing more visas for the H-2B seasonal guest worker program.
The H-2B program provides an opportunity for businesses to operate at a greater capacity, retain their full-time workers and further contribute to local and state economies. However, an insufficient supply of visas and burdensome regulations governing the program have made it more cumbersome for roofing contractors and other businesses to obtain the workers needed to operate and expand their businesses.
Most notably, the program's annual cap of 66,000 visas (33,000 for each half of the fiscal year) is insufficient to meet the demands of a growing economy. On Jan. 1, the Department of Labor received more than 97,000 applications for the 33,000 visas available in the second half of fiscal year 2019 before the system accepting applications crashed. Without action by Congress to address this problem, many employers will again be shut out of the program with no access to legal seasonal workers to help fulfill their contracts.
To take action and email your legislators, visit the NRCA Grassroots Advocacy Network at roofingadvocacy.nrca.net.