© 2021 Maine Public
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Business and Economy

Approval of 15K Visas for Foreign Workers Could Help Maine's Tourism Industry

New workers may be on the way to seasonal businesses in Maine struggling with a labor shortage. Federal officials say they are adding 15,000 new visas for temporary foreign workers, following pleas from industries that depend on them.

Greg Dugal, government affairs director for the Maine Inn Keepers Association, says it's not too late in the season for Maine businesses to benefit, given that they will lose many student workers when they return to school in late summer.

"This would be wonderful to have them be here for the end of August and the remaining two months of the fall, when we're still very busy," Dugal says.

Federal officials say that businesses petitioning for immigrant worker visas will have to attest that they would suffer "irreparable harm" without them.