Is Puerto Rico the Next Epicenter for Talent?
Manufacturing companies in the Midwest are looking beyond the continental U.S. to fill much-needed positions. According to the Wall Street Journal, recruiters and staffing companies are setting sights on Puerto Rico. In the past year and a half, Integrated Staffing Solutions has recruited approximately 300 Puerto Rican employees to the Midwest.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the island has lost nearly half a million residents over the past 10 years, in part because of the flailing economy. For instance, in December the unemployment rate in Puerto Rico was 8.3 percent, more than double that of the 50 states. Natural disasters like Hurricane Maria have also sent hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans to the mainland.
Recruiters are turning to the island’s residents because, as U.S. citizens, there’s no need for them to obtain visas or undergo other lengthy government processes.
Carlos Román Román, an administrator at the Department of Labor and Human Resources in Puerto Rico, told the WSJ that the Puerto Rican government has authorized 200 companies to recruit in the U.S. territory over the past four years. In that time frame, more than 2,000 workers have been hired spanning across industries from healthcare to agriculture.
The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce website offers visitors an option to become a member or purchase recruitment plans designed to tap into the vast network of workers to promote and market U.S. job opportunities.