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request for advice for H2B visa's

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
An Aussie Instructor I know just learned he can't teach here this season due to a full allocation of H2B Visa's. He has been teaching at Beaver Creek for the past 8 years. If anyone has any advice or can help, could you please let me know?
post #2 of 25
Your only hope is virtually an act of Congress. Given the unemployment rate in this country currently, it's unlikely to occur.
post #3 of 25
I think your friend is SOL. Our school is going to have no H2Bs this year as well.

edit: I just want to add that this has nothing to do with unemployment. The positions that would have gone to H2Bs last year went unfilled.
post #4 of 25
It's a big deal for a lot of people in Europe and Australia who were planning to work in US ski resorts this year. Park City was one of the few resorts to get their visas. Vail got none. Snowbird got none.

http://www.vaildaily.com/article/200...ntProfile=1062

http://www.telluridewatch.com/pages/..._column&open=&
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
I think your friend is SOL. Our school is going to have no H2Bs this year as well.

edit: I just want to add that this has nothing to do with unemployment. The positions that would have gone to H2Bs last year went unfilled.
The European instructors who didn't get their visas where I work last season WERE replaced by locals.
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
I know there was an article on this issue last season in oneof the ski rags. This seems to be a real problem. My friend, Ross, is a fantastic teacher with a huge following. He's normally fully booked all season.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post
The European instructors who didn't get their visas where I work last season WERE replaced by locals.
If US resorts didn't have to use imported labour they wouldn't. It costs them a lot of money and time to get those visas.

But the fact is they don't pay well enough to attract locals - and I'm not just talking about instructors but catering staff and lift/mountain ops as well.

There are superb full-time American instructors who can make a living from it. But there are also a lot who look at it, think twice and opt for superflex ... so they actually get work on the 16 days they are required and walk back to their "real", money-earning job with a season lift pass. Which is where the foreigners who have nowhere to go and no other job (legally) to do come in.

Of course, it's not just skiing. It's other leisure industries where, for some reason, Americans choose not to work for poor wages amid a high cost of living; or choose not to do dirty, hard or dangerous work in agriculture or fishing, for example. The work is there but sometimes the will isn't. I expect those are the industries that will be lobbying hardest and with a better chance of success.
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
This is a good topic for a new thread regarding this issue. Any takers? I do not have anything to contribute but I would be interested in learning more.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandgroper61 View Post
But the fact is they don't pay well enough to attract locals - and I'm not just talking about instructors but catering staff and lift/mountain ops as well.

Americans choose not to work for poor wages amid a high cost of living; or choose not to do dirty, hard or dangerous work in agriculture or fishing, for example.
I need to becareful about what I say here. I have a big problem with H2B visas. Our industry may stand apart from others, but how would we know. Ski schools have become dependent on foreign professionals and only now have they begun to make the effort to recruit local workers. It won't be easy and it won't happen over night, but the playing field will be level. Eventually ski schools will adapt.

I am quite sure that Mad River Glen uses local instructors. Their labor staff is American and it's a returning staff. I do like to see and meet workers from other countries, but locals are fun to meet too. It seems clear to me that many ski resorts don't even bother going to the local pool. I think that is wrong.

People who justify the H2B visa say that locals won't work for the low pay. These jobs are often the ones that ski bums used to take (not referring to instructors). These jobs should be filled by locals and it will require creativity to sweeten the pot. These candidates are not being asked to clean fish or pick crops. Working at a ski area is not hard work (sometimes) and local characters, seniors, and ski bums might beable to get the work done. The effort has to be made.

Having said that, slamming the door on forien instructors is not fair to the resorts. I would favor a more gradual phase out.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
This is a good topic for a new thread regarding this issue. Any takers? I do not have anything to contribute but I would be interested in learning more.
I guess we've driffted.

Lawyers get the job done, but that would cost to much for a ski instructor from Bolivia.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
...
People who justify the H2B visa say that locals won't work for the low pay. These jobs are often the ones that ski bums used to take (not referring to instructors). These jobs should be filled by locals and it will require creativity to sweeten the pot. These candidates are not being asked to clean fish or pick crops. Working at a ski area is not hard work (sometimes) and local characters, seniors, and ski bums might beable to get the work done. The effort has to be made....
This was back at the beginning of the summer, within the same week in the Boston Globe I read that--

The resort businesses on Cape Cod are in deep kimchi because the don't have enough staff because of a shortage of H2B visas for foreign seasonal workers.

Because of economic down turn, there aren't enough summer jobs for inner city kids this summer.



Seems like the system is broke. Maybe people say the inner city kids aren't motivated enough or responsible enough for the jobs. I say, fix that problem first. The businesses want to start the season in mid-May but kids don't get out of school til mid to late June. I say, suck it up for two of three weeks and hire the local kids for the summer.

They'll always be a need for foreign workers, seasonal and highly skilled, but I say look local first.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
Working at a ski area is not hard work (sometimes) and local characters, seniors, and ski bums might be able to get the work done. The effort has to be made.
Sorry, I beg to differ. I'm sure my co-workers would agree. I was pretty beat up by the end of the season. Some co-workers seasons ended in surgery or broken body parts and flew home early. You'd be amazed at the cost of the workman's comp. claims incurred.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by daysailer1 View Post
Sorry, I beg to differ. I'm sure my co-workers would agree. I was pretty beat up by the end of the season. Some co-workers seasons ended in surgery or broken body parts and flew home early. You'd be amazed at the cost of the workman's comp. claims incurred.
Were they working or attending cocktail hour Are you saying that the work is too dangerous for Americans? My point is that working at a ski area is not like being an apple picker.

What kind of a job was the injury related to and why wasn't a foreign worker filling it
post #14 of 25
They were working. One was a U.K. instructor and the other was an Australian instructor. I've been injured while instructing too. I had a beginner in a class take me out while getting off the lift. I've known others get taken out around the lift too. I think year before last we had over $2 million in workers comp claims. It was significantly down last year and that was rewarded. Some areas are significantly more dangerous than others. Ask the guy who had his arm amputated/ripped off while working on the magic carpet two years ago.


Finndog, sorry for the thread hijack. Looks like alot of people won't get their visas this year. Everyone pretty much saw the full efffects of this visa crisis coming about a year ago.
post #15 of 25
the only way this for an instructor (international) or any other international worker to get into the states to work this season is if they are already here on an h2b extension.
post #16 of 25
Or if they are lucky a loophole is a J1....

despite my seperation from snowbird this year, I still thought I would have alot of friends from last winter this winter. but congress has kinda of dashed that hope.



from our trip down to moab in april....3 americans, 5 brits, 2 aussies. Alot of resorts are going to suffer unless they pay more to attract more americans. The internationals work both seasons and it makes it much more profitable for them.

Most of the people above are young enough to apply to J1s hopefully they get them.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
the only way this for an instructor (international) or any other international worker to get into the states to work this season is if they are already here on an h2b extension.
Not entirely true. I am currently in London and will be back at Park City this season... as will several of my friends who are also not currently in the US.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
Or if they are lucky a loophole is a J1....

despite my seperation from snowbird this year, I still thought I would have alot of friends from last winter this winter. but congress has kinda of dashed that hope.



from our trip down to moab in april....3 americans, 5 brits, 2 aussies. Alot of resorts are going to suffer unless they pay more to attract more americans. The internationals work both seasons and it makes it much more profitable for them.

Most of the people above are young enough to apply to J1s hopefully they get them.
I'm going to miss some friends from the past two seasons at Winter Park too. I think they are all too old for J1's.

I think I recognize at least one individual from the above picture as a pirate flag waving snowboarder at Alta.
post #19 of 25
Don't count on Congress all they can do is give themselves raises
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandgroper61 View Post
Not entirely true. I am currently in London and will be back at Park City this season... as will several of my friends who are also not currently in the US.
glad to know you made it back. I wish that were true for Winter Park and the rest of Colorado (only 1 resort in Colorado got their requests in on time).
post #21 of 25
Ya know, if ski resorts are having trouble finding people to work, they could probably pay more . . .

The CEO of Vail Resorts makes $3,533,363 per year in total compensation (See Here)

And the CFO makes $2,091,350 per year in total compensation (Here)

Maybe those guys could make . . . I don't know, $1 million a year and have $2,500,000 more to raise the pay of some instructors or lifties?

Just a thought . . .
post #22 of 25
Mattchuck2,

By my math CEO+CFO = $5.5 million. Giving them a mere $1.0 each leaves $3.5m available for other resources. Any idea how many instructors/employees would are employed there? Might be able to figure out a per-employee raise it represents?

Maybe doing this kind of math for all companies (not just skiing-related corporations) and publishing it widely would help cause correction of this resource-biased situation.

Now, I don't mind people making lots of money. In fact, I'm all for Capitalism - I'd just kinda like to start capitalizing on the potential availability of those excessive dollars myself...

.ma
post #23 of 25
You know what's weird. I just spent a week on vacation in upstate New York. Half the people working in the shops there are from places like Belarus. You'd think there'd be some kind of way where the summer resorts and winter resorts could get together and switch the employees off so people could work full time in the resort industry.
post #24 of 25
Most foreigners working seasonal jobs right now are on J1 visas or someother J visa. You are suppose to be in school doing some sort of workstudy related exchange. Basically for every J visa we give to an employee from another country, they are agreeing to give us one if there is a studen that wants to go there.

Vail Resort: 15300 employees. Comes out to be less than $250 per employee. That amount of money isn't going to make me work or not work a job.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by learn2turn View Post
You know what's weird. I just spent a week on vacation in upstate New York. Half the people working in the shops there are from places like Belarus. You'd think there'd be some kind of way where the summer resorts and winter resorts could get together and switch the employees off so people could work full time in the resort industry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaughtben View Post
Most foreigners working seasonal jobs right now are on J1 visas or someother J visa. You are suppose to be in school doing some sort of workstudy related exchange. Basically for every J visa we give to an employee from another country, they are agreeing to give us one if there is a studen that wants to go there.

Vail Resort: 15300 employees. Comes out to be less than $250 per employee. That amount of money isn't going to make me work or not work a job.
actually, there are international workers that are here on H2B extensions (my now wife is/was on one).
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