Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Senator Flake Introduces Necessary Workers Bill

Drew Thies
Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) introduced legislation last week that would create a pilot guest working program to address crucial worker shortages.

The Willing Workers and Willing Employers Act (S. 2827) seeks to address the gap between immigrants seeking temporary, seasonal work in the U.S. and those seeking longer stays for highly skilled labor under the H-1B visa and other similar programs.

The American Health Care Association (AHCA)/National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) applauded the Senator’s efforts in a press release, saying the bill “makes it easier for foreign nurses and other health care workers to get jobs” in a sector that is experiencing a workforce shortage that only grows worse as the country ages.

“Recruiting, training, and retaining caregiving staff are the biggest challenges facing skilled nursing care centers today,” said Clifton J. Porter II, senior vice president of government relations for  AHCA/NCAL.

The program allows for the U.S. to admit workers with less than a bachelor’s degree to do year-round, non-farm work under flexible caps determined by market needs.

AHCA/NCAL members can travel to Washington D.C. to advocate for Sen. Flake’s bill and other issues, such as Medicaid and Observation stays, during the annual Congressional Briefing, May 23rd-24th. Due to increased demand, registration has been extended to April 29th, but slots are filling up fast so those interested are encouraged to register soon.

A long-standing member of the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition (EWIC), AHCA is one of 37 organizations that has worked closely with key Congressional members to shape and draft practical immigration reform legislation.

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