ISSA Supports Essential Workers for Economic Advancement ActJune 9, 2023
ISSA has continuously advocated for immigration reform and the establishment of a non-seasonal temporary worker program that would allow businesses to legally hire foreign workers to fill critical jobs when American workers are not available. The long-standing labor shortages in the cleaning service industry will not be solved without access to foreign workers to supplement the labor pool.
Accordingly, we are pleased to share that on May 25, 2023, U.S. Representative Lloyd Smucker (R-PA-11) introduced the Essential Workers for Economic Advancement Act (HR 3734). The legislation is similar to the bills that Representative Smucker introduced in the previous two Congresses that would create a year-round, non-seasonal temporary worker program, named the H-2C program. This program would be available for non-agricultural jobs with lower education thresholds that have been unfilled for extended periods of time. The H-2C visas would be issued for three years and would be renewable for up to an additional six years. During the first year of the program, the number of H-2C visas would be capped at 65,000 workers. After the first year, the number of visas would be based on market demand, but the total number of annual visas cannot exceed 85,000 or drop below 45,000 visas.
“ISSA strongly supports The Essential Workers for Economic Advancement Act to help address chronic labor shortages in the cleaning industry and allow businesses to operate at full capacity,” said ISSA Director of Government Affairs John Nothdurft. “This legislation would provide much-needed relief to the labor crisis and allow the cleaning industry to better serve our customers and protect public health. We thank Representative Smucker for his continued leadership on this important issue.”
The need for immigration reform, including a lesser-skilled, temporary worker program, was one of the top legislative issues that 2023 ISSA Clean Advocacy Summit attendees advocated for on Capitol Hill as part of the summit on March 29 and National Cleaning Week. Help reinforce the message that our summit attendees took to the Hill by using ISSA’s Advocacy Action Center to urge your federal elected officials to create a temporary worker program. For questions regarding immigration reform and ISSA advocacy more generally, please contact John Nothdurft.