SEA 2023 Annual Meeting and Auction Recap

The 2023 SEA Annual Meeting was a tremendous success. Along with record attendance, the feedback on the program was universally positive.

We were honored to have H-2B program champion Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD-1) join us for the duration of the meeting. He was excited by the deal we negotiated with the labor unions, calling it “groundbreaking,” and is hopeful about passage of a permanent H-2B reform package this Congressional term. Harris plans to introduce H-2B legislation soon that will be similar to the compromise we reached with labor.

Danielle LeClair from the Labor International Union of North America joined us for a fireside chat. She engaged in numerous conversations with employers throughout the day. We think both our members and Danielle left with a better understanding of our opposing perspectives which will hopefully be beneficial to future negotiations.

We were also honored to be joined by Brian Pasternak from the Department of Labor (DOL) and Kamal Essaheb from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Largely due to our commitment to the administration’s Northern Triangle initiative, we have formed a close working relationship with the administration.

The afternoon session concluded with a detailed overview of the process of requesting H-2B workers from Northern Triangle countries. We debuted a video promoting the initiative and describing the process. We will send out an email later this week with information about our next Northern Triangle summit.


  • Brian Pasternak, Administrator, Office of Foreign Labor Certification, USDOL, confirmed that our analysis of the DOL processing timeline for April 1 applications is largely accurate.

    2023 dol processing timeline

  • Our speaker from DHS, Kamal Essaheb, confirmed the 16,500 additional Returning Worker visas will be released 15 days after the second half cap is met. We estimate the filing window will be mid-March. At this point, it is likely that only DOL processing Groups B-D will have labor certifications in hand by that date and thus will be the only groups eligible to submit their petitions when the visas are first released. We estimate most of Groups B-D will receive their Returning Workers and maybe even a percentage of Group E will as well. Groups F and G will likely need to consider other options (such as Northern Triangle workers).

AUCTION: Thank you to SEA Board Member Zach Crede for filling in, at the last minute, as our auctioneer. Zach did an excellent job as evidenced by the record $53,750 that was raised. Much thanks goes to all of our generous donors and bidders, and a special thank you to SEA Board Chairman Roger Warren for his role in helping us reach this total. During the bidding for the Kiawah Stay and Play package, Roger upgraded the accommodations from a villa to a two-night stay at one of the newly constructed Ocean Course Cottages. This resulted in a bidding war. When the bid reached $8,800, SEA board member Gary Woodworth asked Roger if he would be willing to donate a package to both bidders. He graciously agreed and just like that, we raised over $17,000 in one fell swoop! Thank you, Roger!

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