Colorado relies heavily on foreign seasonal labor. This year, there’s a shortage of visas.
Colorado heavily dependent on H-2B visa, especially landscapers
March 9, 2018
Colorado companies in landscaping, construction, hospitality and tourism are getting unwelcome notices that the federal government has denied their visa applications to bring in foreign workers to meet the summer rush.
"We don't know how we will get the workers," said Jake Leman, construction division manager at Singing Hills Landscaping, one of the firms rejected. "If we could bring back the guys we had from last year, we would be able to survive and fulfill all of our contracts."
The Aurora company applied for 40 slots under the H-2B visa program to bring workers from Mexico to handle the surge in business during the warmer months, a request made every year after local hiring efforts fail.
"It is dire," said Brad Ahl, who helps firms apply for visas as president of Windsor-based Labor Solutions Inc. Historically low unemployment rates and worsening labor shortages across a growing number of industries and states are pushing more employers to seek help outside U.S. borders.