School districts all across the country have been facing challenges attempting to fill their vacant teaching positions, but one school district is attempting to use the H-1B visa to solve the issue. The Camden City School District (CCSD) in New Jersey attempts to fill its open teaching positions by recruiting foreign national workers using the H-1B program.
Under the H-1B visa program, an employer must demonstrate that they have attempted to recruit U.S. workers for the role in “good faith“ and have still been unable to find qualified and willing candidates. In the school district’s case, they claim to have already attempted to recruit through various means, including job posting websites, universities, and job fairs. They yet still have been unable to fill vacant positions, so this should not be an issue.
The CCSD recently passed a resolution stating that the district would use the H-1B Specialty Occupations visa process in order to fill their open teacher positions with foreign national workers. The CCSD Superintendent has stated that the vacancies become worse every year, but the issue has become a lot worse very quickly due to the pandemic.
This difficulty is particularly true for positions that require foreign language experience. The CCSD superintendent has stated that the district has had significant difficulty filling bilingual positions and teaching English as a Second Language (ESL). Now the district will be beginning to recruit teachers to fill these otherwise difficult positions to help non-native English speakers.
The CCSD’s difficulty filling foreign language teaching positions is far from unique. In fact, a national survey confirmed that 37% of public schools rate these roles as “very difficult” to fill or that they “were not able” to do so at all. Moreover, the shortage of teachers is not expected to resolve. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected approximately 77,400 openings for high school teachers every year over the following decade.
During the program’s trial year, the Superintendent has stated that the district will attempt to fill 10 of its 28 vacant positions with foreign national workers, prioritizing filling three bilingual and one ESL positions. In addition, according to the CCSD, they have already received calls and considerable interest from other school districts across the country considering using the program as a model for their schools.
Those interested in using the H-1B program to fill their open positions know that this can go a long way in reducing labor shortages; however, it is essential to keep in mind that the process can be complex. This includes fulfilling employment eligibility verification requirements which can be more complex with foreign national workers. One way to help is to use electronic I-9 management tools. This can guide employers through every step and ensure that documentation is stored in a secure and correct manner.
When it comes to your employees, automation makes eligibility verification quick and simple. Ensure compliance today with I-9 Compliance.