Alex Gomez, 23, hopes to one day own his own Cuban restaurant in the United States. In the mean time, however, he is getting food service industry experience at the KFC in Minot, North Dakota. Gomez received his job through an H2B visa immigration program that employs individuals from around the world in entry-level positions, according to the Minot Daily News.
Global Employment Services, headquartered in Maine, connects immigrants and U.S. citizens with employment opportunities in businesses throughout the state. The company relocates individuals who are willing to move from areas with high unemployment rates to those with more opportunities for employment.
Employers in Minot previously relied on the J-1 visa program, which allowed foreign students to work and make money during their stay in the United States, but was discontinued last fall.
“The J-1 students are great, also,” Becky Beechie, a restaurant owner, told the Minot Daily News. “That’s been a wonderful program. But every three months you are retraining. So this is a little bit more permanent solution, and we hope that with these employees, it works out that they want to stay with us indefinitely.”