Fostering Lifelong Friendships

Remarks by Michael Shamblen, Business Manager
Wisp Resort - Recreational Industries, Inc.

A Wisp Resort is a four-seasons resort located in Western Maryland. Our participants that come here through the J-1 Visa program, mostly we hire them through the winter months. They're here for a three-month time period,and we have a variety of jobs that they do.

We have the opportunity to have young, excited international students that bring a level of diversity to the resort that we thoroughly enjoy that students here get to meet and mix with our local population and our guests and customers here.

Being involved in this program, we're able to stabilize certain jobs that we have here at the resort. The unfortunate truth to the rural area that Wisp Resort is in is that we don't have enough people in this local area to fill the level of positions that we traditionally have here -- the seasonal high recreational activity-based jobs, so by involving the J-1 visa program, we're able to stabilize certain jobs. That allows us to keep employees in that position all season long.

The program itself is very rewarding, seeing the kids develop interpersonally with locals through the program,it's very exciting. I'm very proud to be a part of the program.