Wildwood Hotel Motel Assoc. Supports Maintaining J-1 Student Work Program

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The Greater Wildwood Hotel Motel Association Board of Directors recently met to discuss government proposals to reduce or eliminate the long standing J-1 Student Work and Travel Program.

The program, which the group says has brought "many thousands of foreign students to the Wildwoods over past years" is a "win-win" for everyone involved as it "helps us function and it also helps the world better understand our unique principles," according to the Association's Vice President Dan MacElrevey.

According to a statement released to the media, "these discussions greatly concern the Association's motel, hotel and business members because the J-1 program provides a significant portion of the summer employees that make it possible for the resort to operate."

The statement continues ...  

"It is a fact that the tourism industry throughout the State of New Jersey, not just in the Wildwoods, could not staff key businesses without this program. It is noteworthy also that this program has a significant benefit for our entire country since the participating students live and work in the United States for an extended period and then return to their homes in Europe and Asia to tell their families and friends about the wonderful lifestyle and unique political freedoms enjoyed by Americans.  

"The knowledge they gain and then distribute counters many of the distortions and the incorrect information currently being spread by some groups  throughout many areas of the world.  

The political benefits of the J-1 Student Exchange Program to our country are at least as important as the economic benefits so we urge our legislators  to not only protect but also to expand the program.

"The Association has now, by unanimous vote of its Officers and Directors, passed a resolution asking Senator Bob Menendez and Senator Cory Booker to support maintaining and expanding the J-1 program and to sign and support the letter generated by Senator Ron Johnson and Senator Jeanne Shaheen to block any changes in this well functioning program.

"As Steve Tecco, President of the Greater Wildwoods Hotel Motel Association explained at the GWHMA meeting, 'There are significant, multiple benefits for our resort industry and the economies of communities throughout New Jersey and across American since the programs make it possible to staff our seasonal businesses and provide top level resort services.'  

"Steve also stressed during the GWHMA discussion that "the political benefits of the J-1 Student Exchange Program to our country are at least as important as the economic benefits so we urge our legislators  to not only protect but also to expand the program."  

"Everyone attending the meeting agreed that, for many years, the program has worked very well for our industry and for our nation as a whole.  It brings a high caliber of foreign students to our nation to work in the summer months and while learning by actual experience about our beliefs, our free economy, and the principals that make our nation unique.  

"After discussion, the Association's officers and members voted unanimously to approve and widely distribute the GWHMA Resolution supporting and urging expansion of the J-1 program As one of the largest lodging organizations in the state providing tourism leadership for three quarters of a century, the Greater Wildwoods Hotel Motel Association affirmed that this political leadership by our elected leadership in the Senate will be appreciated by everyone working in the tourism industry, everyone vacationing at our summer resorts, and by every American who understands the value of providing a firsthand educational experience to young people from all over the world.

"Several other organizations including the Cape May County Chamber of Commerce are also joining the Greater Wildwood Hotel Association to support and urge expansion of the J-1 Student Work and Travel Program." 

OLMA Marina Dolz Spain Vineland Spanish Exchange Student

Related: Marina Dolz - South Jersey Won't Forget This Foreign Exchange Student


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