Immigration cap, job rate, causing landscape worker shortage in Ohio

AKRON, Ohio — Ohio landscapers say low unemployment rates, a cap on seasonal immigrant workers and drug use is causing a shortage of workers.

Sandy Munley is executive director of the Ohio Landscape Association. She tells the Akron Beacon Journal that difficulty getting seasonal workers “is a huge, huge issue this year.”

The paper reports that changes limiting the number of seasonal workers allowed into the country under the H-2B visa program have hurt landscaping companies.

The low unemployment rate also plays a role, as does the inability of many Ohio job applicants to pass a drug test, often because of marijuana use.

Joe Chiera owns Impact Landscape & Maintenance in Boston Heights in northeastern Ohio. He ended up hiring 15 people from Puerto Rico to fill his shortage.