AHCA Applauds Senator Jeff Flake for Introducing the Willing Workers and Willing Employers Act
S. 2827 would help relieve nurse shortages by creating a less-skilled worker visa pilot program
– The American Health Care Association (AHCA) today applauded Senator Jeff
Flake (R-Ariz.) for his introduction of the Willing
Workers and Willing Employers Act which helps ease nursing workforce
shortages. The bill makes it easier for foreign nurses and other health care
workers to get jobs at skilled nursing centers via the creation of a 10-year
pilot guest worker program.
“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 the
American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. “This
bill creates a guest worker program with a smart, market-based approach that
will meet the care needs of our residents and patients.”
Different from other guest worker program legislation
introduced in recent years, this program will apply only in counties and metro
areas where the unemployment rate is less than 5 percent. Other characteristics
of the bill include:
Creation of a pilot guest worker program
designed to address the gap that currently exists between temporary visa
programs for seasonal workers and the H-1B visa program for highly skilled
· Creation of a
flexible cap ranging from 65,000 to 85,000 registered positions a year to match economic demand.
Strict requirements that employers must
seek an available U.S. worker before hiring a guest worker under this program.
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. To learn more, visit the EWIC website.