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Feature Story

April 2017


Pool & Spa Professionals Fight Immigration Restrictions

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

Grants Available to Boost Dog Parks - April 2017

New Aquatic Management Program Aims to Improve Safety, Efficiency - April 2017

16 Cities Nationwide to Receive Park Improvement Funding - April 2017

Study Confirms: People Pee in Pools - March 2017

Volunteers Get Hands-On History Experience in Virginia - March 2017

Park Hop Inspires Park Usage - March 2017

National Health Campaign Reaches 228,000 Youth in Three Years - March 2017

Outdoor REC Act Signed Into Law - February 2017

Happy 125th B-Day B-Ball! - February 2017

Study Shows Majority—Even Athletes—Are 'Overfat' - February 2017

Gym-Goers Like YMCA Best; Planet Fitness Winning Market Share - February 2017

Georgia State Park Celebrates Its Dark Sky Status - January 2017

Texas Tech Focuses on Functional Fitness - January 2017

Preventing Pool Closings - January 2017

Majority of U.S. Households Visit Attractions - January 2017

City of Henderson Awarded for Water Safety Programs - December 2016

Grant Brings Outdoor Fitness Area to Park - December 2016

Alliance Recommends Actions to Improve Kids' Activity Stats - December 2016

Retractable Enclosures Help YMCAs Cut Costs, Boost Membership - November 2016

Huge Project Seeks to Rebuild Monarch Habitats - November 2016

Report: Camping More Popular Than Ever - November 2016

ACSM Predicts 2017 Fitness Trends - November 2016

CDC: More Than One-Quarter of 50-Plus U.S. Adults Don't Exercise - October 2016

Park District Recognized for Collaboration Efforts - October 2016

Americans Support Increased Local Funding for Parks & Rec - October 2016

High School Sports Participation Up for 27th Consecutive Year - October 2016

National Park Service Celebrates 100 Years of Successful Partnerships - October 2016

Study Shows High Obesity Rates Among Student Athletes - September 2016

Forest Service Celebrates 100-Year-Old Campground - September 2016

Study Shows Artificial Turf Composition Influences Injury Prevention - September 2016

Study Shows Artificial Turf Composition Influences Injury Prevention - August 2016

Council Announces Release of Second Edition of Model Aquatic Health Code - August 2016

Study Finds Seniors, Women Less Likely to Use Parks - August 2016

Level Up Your Park With Pokémon Go - August 2016

Research Shows Light Pollution's Impact on Night Sky - July 2016

Trail-Oriented Development Eases Congestion, Encourages Activity - July 2016

Nonprofits Aim to Boost Inclusive Fitness Opportunities - July 2016

Research Shows Benefits of Nature for Older Adults - June 2016

Destination Play Comes to Draper, Utah - June 2016

New Report Breaks Down the Data on City Parks - June 2016

Virtual Reality, Immersion & Interaction Lead Amusement Park Trends in 2016 - June 2016

National Leaders Team Up to Promote Physical Activity Plan - May 2016

Growing Economic Confidence Means More Visitors for Attractions Industry - May 2016

SHAPE America Recognizes Just Dance School of the Year - May 2016

Surgeon General Visits Gregory Gym in Austin - May 2016

Are States Dropping the Ball on Keeping Kids Active? - April 2016

U.S. Masters Swimming Campaigns to Reduce Adult Drowning - April 2016

Grants for Urban Outdoor Recreation Available - April 2016

Physical Education Program Grant Competition Opens - April 2016

By Chandler Garland

In mid-March, the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) announced the creation of an advocacy coalition to protect seasonal lifeguard staffing for commercial pools across the nation. The concern is that recent changes in the administration and its impending restrictions on both temporary and long-term immigration, will take action against the J-1 Visa Summer Work Travel Program. Much of the staffing for commercial pools comes from these J-1 Visa student workers.

"The issue really boils down to the gaps in the summer work period," explained Carl Chidlow, a Washington, D.C.-based lobbyist who has been successful for APSP and the J-1 Summer Work Travel Program in the past. "This is not about taking American jobs and giving them to foreigners. It's about getting pools ready before Memorial Day and properly closing them after Labor Day. And the facts are that most high school and college kids don't get out of classes until a few days before Memorial Day and go back to campus well before Labor Day," Chidlow said.

On average, American students in both high school and universities begin their school year well before Labor Day and end nearly a month after Memorial Day. For pools, this means that the bulk of their usual workforce is unavailable at key times in the industry's annual schedule.

The J-1 Summer Work Travel Program is for college and university students enrolled full-time and pursuing studies at post-secondary accredited academic institutions located outside the United States to come to the United States for temporary work and travel opportunities. These students are required to be fluent in English, actively perusing a degree at an accredited university or post-secondary institution outside the United States, and been preplaced for the job they will need the visa for.

"One issue that will need to be addressed is when a visa holder overstays," said APSP President and CEO Rich Gottwald. "As an industry, we are prepared to support tightening that up and have a strategy that will support businesses and their ability to operate swimming pools for the public's enjoyment this summer."

The APSP J-1 Coalition will move to protect the J-1 visa by working with the State Department of Virginia, other government agencies, and members of congress to lobby for their members and for recreational swimmers across the nation.

"We are already in contact with The Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy," Chidlow said. "We are optimistic because the SBA is already looking at the regulatory burden and cost of actions against the J-1 Visa Program."

Participating APSP member companies include: Sunset Pool Inc; Premier Aquatics; Winkler Pool Management; APSP Mid-Atlantic Chapter; National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF); Douglas Aquatics; High Sierra Pools Inc; Aquasafe Pool Management; Lacks Beach Service; Sweetwater Pool; Titan Pool Services; Anchor Aquatics; Millennium Pool Service; Sears Pool Management; and United Pool Management. Other companies interested in this issue can participate by contacting APSP Director of Government Relations Jennifer Hatfield.


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