Recession snuffs Aspen's need for H-2B visa workers

Recession snuffs Aspen's need for H-2B visa workers

"The Aspen Skiing Co.'s reliance on foreign workers to fill positions such as lift operators and maids has plummeted during the recession and hit its lowest level in years this winter.  Skico will use four H-2B visas to fill positions in its mountain operations this season, according to Jim Laing, Skico vice president of human resources.  “We went from 400 H-2Bs [prior to the recession], to six, to four,” Laing said.  While it seems like a different era, Skico and nearly every other employer faced a worker shortage just four seasons ago. The company applied for and received 400 temporary work permits for the 2007-08 season. The number of special work permits dropped in half in 2008-09 and the following season. In 2010-11, Skico applied for only six H-2B visas and now it's reducing that to four in mountain operations." - Aspen Times, Dec. 11, 2011.