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Seward City News: Bringing the J1 Workers Back

Here in Seward, not only did the J1-visa workers help process the fish, large numbers also came here every summer to work in our restaurants and hotels, and most also took a variety of second or third jobs at places like Safeway, which helped it meet the additional needs in the busy season. This year, their numbers are visibly down, and those businesses other than, but including canneries have made greater efforts to recruit American workers from outside of town. But six weeks into the busy season, many businesses are still trying to recruit their needed workforce according to Norm Casagranda at the Alaska Job Center. You can walk around the harbor or downtown Seward and see the “Help Wanted” signs on tourism business doors and windows.

“I am determined to make sure Alaska seafood industry employers have the reliable pool of seasonal help they need to maintain adequate processing capacity,” said Sen. Begich, in a press release Friday, June 21st. “Without adequate processing capacity, fishermen can’t deliver their catch, families lose income, and communities lose tax revenue.” He added: The seafood industry provides many Alaskans with living wage jobs that support their families and local economies, however, when seafood processors cannot recruit enough employees to work in their processing plants, the entire system is jeopardized.”