Fewer concerns in 2023 for Jersey Shore destinations that rely on foreign help
May 5 is opening day for some rides along Morey's Piers.
Shortly after that date, the Wildwoods attraction will welcome its first round of foreign help for summer 2023.
And over the following two months, hundreds of temporary-visa holders will hit the piers to help keep concessions, games, and rides running as smoothly as possible for visitors.
"We are very fortunate to be in a location that a lot of international students want to visit," Denise Beckson, vice president of human resources for Morey's Piers, told New Jersey 101.5.
For the first time in a while, getting workers from overseas shouldn't present a struggle for major tourist spots along the Jersey Shore.
Delays and restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic dismantled the J-1 exchange program for summer work in 2020. Embassies and consulates in other countries continued to work through delays in 2021 and 2022 — as of last summer, there were finally no travel bans.
Heading into the warmer months of 2023, Beckson said it appears to be "all systems go" with acquiring help from international students.
"We haven't been alerted to any visa holdups or any COVID restrictions that were impacting their ability to get visas in their home countries," Beckson said.
Morey's Piers typically hires about 500 exchange students through the summer work travel program, from about 30 different countries, Beckson said.
International recruiting is a several-month process for businesses along the shore. And efforts continue in April to find domestic workers who want to fill open positions.
According to a spokesperson for Casino Pier & Breakwater Beach in Seaside Heights, the hiring process for J-1 students has mainly returned to pre-COVID ways.
Most of the pier's and waterpark's foreign help will arrive in May.