Monday, June 16, 2014

Why Expanded Opportunities for Legal Immigration Are Important to Long-Term Care Providers...

Recently Artis Senior Living CEO Don Feltman joined CEOs from 10 other high profile corporate employers, such as Coca-Cola, Tyson Foods, and Loews Hotels & Resorts, to urge Congress to fix the "broken" immigration system, to permit expanded lawful avenues for foreign-born workers in the U.S.   In their June 10 letter, they write in part:  

All our companies rely on legal immigrants working alongside Americans to keep our businesses growing and contributing to the economy. This is a reality driven by demographics. In 1950, more than half of America’s workers were high school dropouts willing to do physically demanding, low-skilled work. Today, the figure is less than 5 percent. But our businesses still need less-skilled workers – and the need will only grow in years ahead. Baby boomers are retiring: 10,000 older workers are leaving the workforce every day. And after a long downturn, most of our operations are expanding and looking to hire workers.


The problem: there is virtually no legal way for less-skilled foreigners without family in the U.S. to enter the country and work in year-round jobs – effectively no temporary or permanent visas available for non-seasonal workers. Congress has an obligation to fill this gap – we need a visa program for less-skilled foreign workers seeking year-round jobs. Employers should have to try to hire Americans first. But if they can’t find enough U.S. workers, they should be able to hire foreign workers quickly, easily and legally.

Federal Statutes/Regulations, Health Care/Long Term Care, Housing | Permalink

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I hope this is more openly acknowledged, so thank you for this post. A couple of years ago I read a book written by an economist about our country’s scenario in the future. Due to potential worker shortage, he described how the USA would have to openly recruit foreign workers (think lower skilled/unskilled), particularly looking to Mexico. Decades ago when I worked in Human Resources, there was a big shortage of nurses. Imports from Ireland and The Philippines resulted. (Note: I'm not implying nurses are low skilled workers by any means.) In my mother’s CCRC in the St. Louis area, Bosnian immigrants are well represented on the nursing home floor and in independent living’s housekeeping. Two years ago I volunteered to teach Spanish to a small group of adults in my community. Upon getting started, I asked each student to share why s/he was interested in learning Spanish. One immediately replied, “So I can communicate with my aide if I ever have to go into a nursing home.”

Posted by: Jennifer Young | Jun 16, 2014 6:05:31 AM

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