June 13, 2013

Hospitality industry loses guest workers

By Kevin Miller, Washington Bureau Chief, and and Karen Antonacci, Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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"It is a sort of sacrifice for them," said Warren, a mother and grandmother who is working her eighth summer at the resort.

Allyson Cavaretta, the resort's director of sales and marketing, said all of its seasonal employees come from Jamaica because the resort has a good relationship with an employment agency there.

Many return year after year to do housekeeping and cook in the resort's pub.

Cavaretta said the resort has had only about five applications from U.S. citizens in the last eight or nine years.

In her testimony to the House Small Business subcommittee, Diment said The Beachmere Inn got 16 responses to its housekeeping ads for this year. Nine respondents didn't show up for interviews. Among the seven who did, two failed reference checks, two showed "obvious lack of interest" and two declined job offers.

"People think that they're taking American jobs, but nothing could be further than the truth," said Cavaretta.

"It's not like (we are) going to the border and filling a truck. It's a very old program and heavily monitored."

The Meadowmere's workers hit more snags than usual coming into the country after federal agencies suspended the H-2B application processing because of a court ruling in March.

"We've been having to provide extra things for them to travel, like past pay stubs, even though they've been working here for several years, or letters from management," Cavaretta said. "Plus more interrogation time at immigration. It's usually one to three hours, but one girl was there for 12."


Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at:


On Twitter: @KevinMillerDC


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