Orleans Chamber Hosts J-1 Housing Workshop

Orleans Chamber Hosts J-1 Housing Workshop

March 6 event to address need for more hosts

Orleans, MA – February 22, 2017 – An issue affecting businesses across Cape Cod is hitting home – the need for J-1 housing for student workers who come here each summer as part of the Summer Work Travel Program.

With shortages in J-1 housing reported every year, the Orleans Chamber of Commerce is hosting a J-1 Housing Workshop to both explain the J-1 process as well as educate attendees about the benefits of hosting a student. The workshop will take place on Tuesday, March 6 from 3pm to 4:30pm at the Orleans Council on Aging, 150 Rock Harbor Rd., Orleans.

Presenters will include student sponsors Intrax World Travel and CIEE; the Reverend Catherine Boyle, Mid-Cape J-1 Housing Program; Lt. Kevin Higgins, Orleans Police Dept.; employers who have sponsored J-1 students and community members who have housed exchange students.

“This is a critical issue that directly impacts the success of the summer tourist season on the Cape,” says Noelle Pina, executive director of the Orleans Chamber of Commerce, who organized the event. “We rely on these students to fill summer jobs, so it’s up to us to find solutions to the problem of housing.”

In 2016, approximately 4,000 J-1 participants from over 50 countries worked on Cape Cod through the J-1 work and travel and J-1 intern programs, according to data gathered by the Mid-Cape J-1 Housing Program, headed by the Reverend Catherine Boyle. The majority of students had to find housing on their own.

What is the Summer Work Travel Program?

The Summer Work Travel Program allows post-secondary students to travel from their home countries to the U.S. for work. In order to be eligible for the program, participants must meet the following criteria:

  • They must have sufficient English skills to interact in an English-speaking environment
  • They must be post-secondary students who are enrolled in a full-time course of study at a post-secondary educational institution outside the U.S.
  • They must have completed at least one semester of post-secondary study
  • They must have a job offer in the U.S., unless they are from a visa-waiver country

The length of the program may not exceed four months and must be completed during the participant’s summer vacation. Participants in the program mostly fill positions at hotels, resorts, restaurants, attractions and amusement parks, but may also work for organizations such as architectural firms, legal offices, scientific research organizations, advertising agencies, graphic arts/publishing and other media communication businesses, computer software and electronics firms. Participants who do not have prearranged employment must have sufficient financial resources to support themselves during a search for employment.

The Orleans Chamber of Commerce is the recognized essential organization that builds, promotes and supports the Orleans business community through marketing, training and event coordination while attracting sustainable economic investment. The Chamber also spearheads tourism marketing efforts for its members as well as for the Town of Orleans. For more information please call (508) 255-7203 or visit www.orleanscapecod.org.

Author: Mashpee Chamber of Commerce

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