Lack of international workers hurts Virginia Beach tourism

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — Suspension of a program that brings international students to the U.S. for summer work has left businesses in Virginia Beach struggling to find employees.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that more than 1,000 international students work every summer in Virginia Beach at hotels and other businesses catering to tourists under the J-1 Visa Student Work Travel program.

But the visa program has been temporarily suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic. It normally allows international students to work four months in the U.S. and stay an additional month for travel.

Restaurateurs and hoteliers in the city say that as demand is picking up they are scrambling to find enough workers.