Streamline guest worker program

As our company has grown, the dependability of our workforce has become incredibly important. I am asking our legislative delegation to support reforms that enable economic growth by making it more attractive to work legally — and to make market-based visa programs available to agriculture and nonagriculture businesses.

Each year, we end up being woefully short to fulfill our labor needs. Whether it is a “no-show”or the inability to pass a drug test or simply an unwillingness to perform the work after a very short time on the job, either way it means we do not have enough willing Americans to perform the work.

We have turned to the H2B temporary nonagriculture visa program. This program allows for predictable, dependable labor during our peak season. I’ve witnessed firsthand that many of the guest workers embody the “get it done”attitude that makes America the greatest country in the world.

The H2B visa holders pay all the obligations that Americans do through payroll deductions. Most have no interest in staying in America, and look forward to going home after the season.

Our company, like many small businesses within the forestry, seafood processing, hospitality services, and other industries, hires guest workers to keep services predictable and consistent. But, there are times when the process of hiring guest workers “the right way” becomes unnecessarily complicated due to too much red tape.

Congress should and can make it simpler for American businesses to employ guest workers during peak seasons. Our current broken immigration system is only going to get worse with inaction.

I urge our delegation to support reform that enables economic growth by making it more attractive to work legally and make market-based visa programs available to agriculture and nonagriculture businesses.

Clay Pinson, owner

Massengale Grounds Management

Baton Rouge