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Quassy Amusement Park in Middlebury, Conn., has been providing family fun in one form or another since 1908, but established itself as an actual amusement park after World War II. The venerable park once offered swimming, dancing, and a carousel; by 1937, Waterbury businessmen added paddleboats, restored the carousel, and offered roller skating in the massive open air dance hall. In 1952, Quassy purchased a complete set of Kiddyland rides from the Allan Herschell Company then located in North Tonawanda, N.Y. That was the beginning. From the ......[read more]
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Theme park companies usually don’t divulge attendance and revenue numbers during the holiday period, but with fresh and varied holiday programs and wide-reaching marketing campaigns, the holiday season is important to parks. This year, many parks are focusing on millennials in their marketing campaigns: surveys have found that millennial parents and non-parents alike are more likely than all parents to express interest in holiday theme park visits, and rationalize the costs involved in a visit, some 78% to 59%, respectively. So what do ......[read more]
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UPDATE FROM JKJ WORKFORCE - DECEMBER 12, 2018

On December 7th, the deadline to pass the bill, Congress passed a 2-week CR (Continuing Resolution) whereby they simply extended last years budget by 2 weeks to December 21, 2018. 

Now, as the rhetoric increases to become more and more hateful on both sides over Border Wall Funding, instead of both sides sitting down and actually working on a solution it has all become political theatre at its very worse, and they are talking about passing another CR (Continuing Resolution) until the end of the fiscal year.  If that happens, that probably means no cap relief in any form.

If your starting date of need is prior to April 1, 2019 and you have NOT received a receipt notice from USCIS then you are probably capped out.  If your date of need is April 1, 2019 or after, then the probability that you will get workers is from 20% to 30%, unless Congress takes action to pass a DHS Appropriations Bill that has some form of H-2B cap relief in it for FY19.

Call to Action

Congress is the process of negotiating a final Fiscal 2019 Department of Homeland Security Spending bill. This legislation must be completed by December 21, in order to avoid a government shut down. We need Congress to include H-2B cap relief in this legislation and we need your help to make sure that happens.

A group of lawmakers including Senators Tillis (R-NC) and Rounds (R-SD) and Rep. Harris (R-MD) have negotiated an H-2B package that would: permanently double the annual H-2B cap to 132,000 visas and require the Department of Labor to report to Congress every two years about whether or not the cap should be increased or decreased based on economic need; Allow some agricultural related industries to access the uncapped H-2A program, including forestry and conservation-related services relating primarily to the cultivation, installation, and establishment of horticultural commodities; Provide for proportional and quarterly allocations of H-2B visa so that businesses have access to workers regardless of their dates of need; Preserve access to the program for compliant seasonal employers; Provide access to needed temporary workers involved in disaster and recovery efforts; Increase fines and penalties for bad actors; Require employers who use the program to verify the work eligibility of recently hired and newly hired employees; and  eliminate the costly newspaper advertising requirement and replace it with a requirement to list jobs through an online Department of Labor job registry.

Requested Actions:
1. Please click on the appropriate link below, set up by the National Association of Landscape Professionals, to send a letter to your Representative and two Senators urging them to support the Tillis/Harris H-2B cap relief package in a final Department of Homeland Security Spending bill. Please also share these links with your colleagues and encourage them to respond.

SEND A LETTER AS AN EMPLOYER: 
https://p2a.co/WfSqDlb

SEND A LETTER AS AN EMPLOYEE:
https://p2a.co/99naAO7

2. Please call your Representative and two Senators and ask them to urge their party leaders to include the Tillis/Harris H-2B package in a final DHS appropriations bill. You can reach your elected officials through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121. Once connected to your Representative or Senator’s office ask to speak to the person who handles H-2B issues. Please make these calls today!

Current 2019 H2B Cap Situation Reported by JKJ Workforce:

According to Jim Judkins of JKJ Workforce, The DHS has not made an official announcement yet, but he assumes that the first half of the cap hit on December 6, 2018.

If your company has not received a USCIS Receipt number, there is a good chance that your company has been capped out for the first half of the year.
If your company is capped out/and or is part of the second half of the year, statistically there is only about a 25% chance that you will make it over the finish line and get H-2B workers, UNLESS CONGRESS TAKES ACTION.

Now, if you are OK for 2019 -- have a receipt or approval -- unless CONGRESS TAKES ACTION NOW -- the chance that there will be any legislation for the next 2 years hovers around ZERO.

So - EVERYONE EVERYONE EVERYONE -- please follow the steps outlined by the H-2B Coalition as detailed below -- please do this once a day until Congress passes the bill on the 21st.

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Posted by: H2B Workforce Coalition / MCW / JKJ Workforce on 12/12/2018

Details of the Grassley/Tillis H2B Cap Relief package have been announced.  While this is great news for all H2B stakeholders, the bill has not been signed yet!  Please read the details of the bill below and take appropriate action to ensure that this bill gets included in the 2019 FY government spending bill that will be voted on before December 7, 2018 December 22, 2018!

The following would go into effect immediately after the bill is signed.

  • A permanent increase in the cap from 66,000 to 132,000 visas.
  • Cap exempt visas, within specified SOC Codes, for workers performing work that directly supports the reconstruction or restoration of physical property and infrastructure or debris clean-up and removal related to natural disasters, in declared disaster states.
  • H-2B employers will be required to participate in the federal E-Verify program for all employees hired no later than 1 year after enactment of legislation AND within 3 years of enactment ALL hires made on or after October 1, 2012. For each worker who fails E-Verify, the employer may replace the worker with a cap exempt H-2B worker for up to three years. The worker would count against the cap after the third year. 
  • Increase in the anti-fraud fee from $150 to $350 per petition.
  • Establishment of DOL electronic jobs registry. DOL will collect a fee from H-2B employers to pay for this registry.

The following goes into effect in fiscal year 2020 (October 1, 2019):

  • Allocation of visas is changed from current bi-annual allocation to quarterly allocation (Oct-Dec- 14%, January-March: 45%, April-June: 39%, July-September 2%).
  • All H-2B employers with dates of need in a quarter will apply to DOL at the same time, regardless of the start date in the quarter. Employers can return to requesting their customary start date (ex. March 1) without fear of being 100% shut out of the program.
  • Employers who have received an approved visa petition in at least three of the last five years (compliant seasonal employers or CSEs) shall receive priority status for the available visas. No less than 15% of the visas shall go be distributed to new entrants to the program. If either of the visa categories (CSE, new entrants) is oversubscribed, visas shall be allocated on a proportional basis.
  • If either visa category is not exhausted during a given quarter, visas shall be transferred to the other category. If visas remain, visas shall roll over to the next quarter.

Now it is time for us to sell the package to ensure it makes it into the 2019 government funding bill.

The 2018 government funding bill is set to expire on December 7th (now extended until December 22). 

CALL TO ACTION:

House Members

Write the staff members for your Representatives who have jurisdiction over the H-2B issue to ask that their Members make a personal request to Speaker Ryan (if your Congressman is a Republican) and to Minority Leader Pelosi (if your Congressman is a Democrat).

Senators

Write the staff members for your Senators who have jurisdiction over the H-2B issue to ask that their Senators make a personal request to Majority Leader McConnell (if your Senator is a Republican) and to Minority Leader Schumer (if your Senator is a Democrat).

You can reach your elected officials through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-225-3121.  Once connected to your Representative or Senator’s office ask to speak to the person who handles H-2B issues.  Please make these calls today!


Download the H2B Leadership Letter from Nov. 30

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Posted by: Seasonal Employment Alliance / MCW on 11/30/2018
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