The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals has formed a coalition to help protect the J-1 Summer Work Travel Program, which many pool management companies depend on to open, close and staff commercial swimming pools.
The APSP J-1 Coalition, which is made up of 15 companies and associations, will be working with the State Department, other government agencies, and members of Congress to lobby for the J-1 program.
“With recent events and a change in administration, we are working hard to protect the J-1 Summer Work Travel Program from being swept up into other visa categories,” says APSP president and CEO Rich Gottwald.
Lobbyist Carl Chidlow of Winning Strategies, who has successfully lobbied for APSP and the J-1 program in the past, will take on that role again. He will work cooperatively with other industries that depend on the program like the amusement park industry, ski resorts, summer camps and the hospitality industry.
“The issue really boils down to the gaps in the summer work period,” Chidlow says. “This is not about taking American jobs and giving them to foreigners. It’s about getting pools ready before Memorial Day and properly closing them after Labor Day. And the facts are that most high school and college kids don’t get out of classes until a few days before Memorial Day and go back to campus well before Labor Day.”
For more information or if your company is interested in participating, contact Jennifer Hatfield, APSP director of government relations. firstname.lastname@example.org.