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Worker Shortage Impacts Colorado Landscape Industry
Lack of H-2B Visas Cited


There were 144,000 applications for the 33,000 H-2B visas for this 6-month period. USCIS went to a lottery system to determine who would have their requests granted.

After the cap on H-2B applications for the FY 2018 was exceeded, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a statement informing applicants they would be conducting a lottery to determine which applications are granted.

In Colorado, this news is alarming to companies in landscaping and construction. According to the Denver Post, several local companies are questioning the future of their companies after being notified their visa applications would be denied.

Singing Hills Landscaping manager Jake Leman told the newspaper that the company is dependent on the foreign labor to fulfill their contracts in the coming months.

The Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado also spoke to the Denver Post, with executive director John McMahon noting the demand for visas being a factor in the shortage.

Some landscapers filed as soon as possible for their visas, hoping it would increase their chances of being granted one.

380 applications for H2-B visas came out of Colorado and 247 were for landscaping and groundskeeping.

Reportedly, landscapers in Colorado have repeatedly found not enough local workers willing to take on the job.

This was true for JBK Landscape, which offered snow plow drivers $30 an hour and still could not find any laborers, according to the Denver Post.

Hiring foreign workers has proven to be beneficial for several companies, including President Trump's Mar-a-Lago property, which hired seasonal workers in 2017.

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August 24, 2019, 10:40 pm PDT

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