The construction and building materials industries are currently facing a nationwide labor shortage. However, with business booming, Sunpro needed to quickly find an answer to the question, “What can we do to attract and retain new employees?”
One of several programs discussed by the Sunpro senior leadership team was a campaign to bring in new employees on H-2B visas. The U.S. Department of Labor’s H-2B visa program permits employers to temporarily hire nonimmigrants to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the United States.
A visa program such as this has been discussed as a possibility at Sunpro for years. After conducting thorough research, Sunpro decided to pursue the H-2B program as one way to address the market labor shortage.
This isn’t the first time Sunpro has hired employees from outside the country. In November 2021, Sunpro hired five Afghan refugees. A similar process has continued this year with the hiring of 45 new employees from El Salvador.
Work permits were secured from the H-2B visa program to bring in 10 employees to the Willard Sunpro location, 10 to the St. George Sunpro location, and 25 to the Lindon Sunpro location.
Selecting the new employees was the next step in the process. Sunpro coordinated closely with contacts at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in El Salvador, and referrals were provided from current Sunpro employees for family members still in the country. Following in-country and in-person interviews in El Salvador, the names of 45 applicants were chosen and submitted for the H-2B visa program.
To qualify for the visas, Sunpro had to demonstrate seasonal hiring needs through data submission and be willing to provide the same working conditions as other employees.
The Department of Labor determines hourly pay rates which are substantially higher than the approximate $1.50 minimum wage in El Salvador. A daily monetary stipend is also given every day of work at Sunpro.
Sunpro is doing its part to ensure these new employees are well taken care of while in a new foreign country. For those without relatives in the area, housing, transportation, internet, and phone service have been coordinated.
Many of the new employees are opting on their own to take English classes outside of work, with the assistance of Sunpro, to help with their labor and day-to-day interactions.
Everyone involved at Sunpro and its parent company, Clyde Companies, has stepped up to make the entire onboarding process function as smooth as possible.
In this tight labor market, Sunpro has had to find innovative ways to solve its labor needs. These new employees are getting fresh new opportunities in a market that they otherwise wouldn’t have had in El Salvador. When we employ workers from other countries, we are not only helping the worker but many members of their extended family.
The results so far have been extremely encouraging. Sunpro believes in the program and has plans in place to hire many additional employees holding H-2B visas.
Sunpro is proud to support and give back to others. Taking advantage of initiatives such as the H-2B visa program helps the company accomplish its mission of Building a Better Community.