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Tourism communities still face worker shortage

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S 10 TOURISM WORKFORCE CRISIS

LAKE GENEVA (WKOW) -- It's been a struggle for many businesses during the pandemic but some hoping to take advantage of the pent up demand for travel are still facing roadblocks.

Many businesses in tourism hot spots like Wisconsin Dells, Door County and Lake Geneva are looking for workers.

The owner of The Lake Aire Restaurant in Lake Geneva says he hasn't seen anything like it in his more than three decades in business.

"Who's gonna cook? Who's gonna do the dishes? Who's gonna do the serving? We need people in every job here," said George Argiropoulos.

Business owners say one factor is the $300 a week in supplemental federal benefits that's still available for people on unemployment.

Another is the lack of international workers on J-1 visas.

In 2019, more than 6,400 J-1 workers filled resort towns across the state. Last year, that was down to 834. Projections for this summer aren't much better than that.

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