Press Releases

Kuster, Moore Introduce Resolution To Support Businesses, Bolster BridgeUSA Visa Programs


Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Blake Moore (R-UT) introduced a resolution expressing congressional support for BridgeUSA programs — formerly the Exchange Visitor J-1 Visa Program — which are vital to the economy and national interests of the United States. Across the nation, and in states like Utah and New Hampshire, participants in these programs fill vital workforce needs, strengthen America’s tourism industry and cultural diversity, and advance our important diplomatic efforts domestically and abroad. Approximately 300,000 participants from over 200 countries and territories visit the United States on a J-1 cultural exchange visa each year. 


“Small businesses here in New Hampshire and across the country rely on the BridgeUSA program — a work-and study-based exchange visitor program — to staff their operations and serve their communities,” said Rep. Annie Kuster. “It is essential Congress does its part to strengthen this program and ensure American businesses have the workforce they need, especially in regions like the North Country where visiting workers fill critical vacancies during the busy tourism season. I was proud to help introduce this House Resolution today in support of BridgeUSA programs and the important role they play in our national and local economies.”


“I am proud to introduce this resolution reaffirming Congress’ bipartisan support of the BridgeUSA programs,” said Representative Blake Moore. “As I have traveled across Utah’s First Congressional District, the message I have heard from community and business leaders alike is that these programs simply work. Not only do they deepen ties between our communities and our allies abroad, but they allow our employers to fill important vacancies and address the challenging workforce shortages that exist here in Utah and across the nation.”


“Canobie Lake Park greatly appreciates Representative Kuster’s leadership in introducing a resolution in support of the Summer Work Travel Program,” Carl Berni, President of Canobie Lake Park in Salem noted. “Congresswoman Kuster’s understanding of the value of the Summer Work Travel Program and her leadership in supporting it is critical to the many seasonal New Hampshire businesses, including Canobie’s, which rely on program participants for additional support. The exchange visitors who come through the program add cultural diversity richness to the park and community and their work enables us to operate at a fuller capacity each summer. We are hopeful visa processing for SWT exchange visitors will return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022.”


“Representative Kuster’s relentless support for the ski industry and the J-1 visa program has been invaluable — not just in New Hampshire where the program is a big success, but across rural communities in dozens of states where ski areas are located,” said Dave Byrd, Director of Risk and Regulatory Affairs for the National Ski Areas Association. “The congresswoman’s voice has been especially critical during these past few seasons when labor issues have enormously impacted all businesses, and ski areas in particular,” Byrd added. “Our guests and employees at ski areas large and small really love engaging these J-1 college students from all over the world, and Representative Kuster’s leadership has been amazing.” 


The BridgeUSA programs were created alongside the Peace Corps and U.S. Agency for International Development during the Cold War to promote the diplomatic and foreign affairs goals of the United States, which the State Department still advances in administering BridgeUSA as federal cultural exchange programs. The programs make travel to the United States possible for a broad and diverse group of international students and young people. 


This resolution has received broad support from many external organizations and stakeholders:


National Associations 

Alliance for International Exchange 

American Camp Association 

American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) 

IAAPA, The Global Association for the Attractions Industry 

National Ski Areas Association 

The Pool and Hot Tub Alliance 

U.S. Travel Association 

International Society of Hotel Associations (ISHA) 


State/Regional Associations 

Garfield County Office of Tourism 

Utah Tourism Industry Association  

Visit Ogden 


California Attractions and Parks Association 

Cape May County Department of Tourism 

Colorado Ski Country, USA 

Commerce & Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ) 

Destination Door County 

Greater Wildwoods Tourism Authority 

Greater Wildwoods Tourism Improvement and Development Authority 


Idaho Ski Areas Association 

Intermountain Ski Areas Association 

Michigan Ski Areas Association 

Midwest Ski Areas Association 

Minnesota Ski Areas Association 

Monmouth-Ocean Development Council 

Montana Ski Areas Association 

NEAAPA - The Northeast’s Entertainment Association 

New Jersey Amusement Association 

New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies, Inc. 

New Jersey Campground & Outdoor Lodging Association 

New Jersey Licensed Beverage Association 

New Mexico Ski Areas Association 

NJ Restaurant & Hospitality Association 

NJ Tourism Industry Association 

NJBIA - New Jersey Business and Industry Association 

Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association 

Pacific Northwest Ski Areas Association 

Pennsylvania Amusement Parks & Attractions 

Pennsylvania Ski Areas Association 

Ski Areas of New York 

Ski California 

Ski Maine 

Ski New Hampshire 

Ski Utah 


Southeast Ski Areas Association 


Vermont Ski Areas Association 

Visit South Jersey 

West Virginia Ski Areas Association 

Western Association of Independent Camps 

Wisconsin Dells Visitor & Convention Bureau 

Wisconsin Ski Areas Association 


Chambers of Commerce 

Northern Utah Chamber Coalition 

Box Elder Chamber of Commerce 

Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce 

Vernal Area Chamber of Commerce 

Park City Chamber of Commerce 

Salt Lake Chamber  

Big Sky Chamber of Commerce 

Cape May County Chamber of Commerce 

Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey 

Cook County (MN) Chamber of Commerce 

Gardiner Chamber of Commerce & CVB 

Gloucester County Chamber of Commerce 

Greater Atlantic City Chamber 

Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce 

Greater Vineland Chamber of Commerce 

Greater Westfield Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation 

Greater Wildwood Chamber of Commerce 

Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce 

Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce & CVB 

Meadowlands Regional Chamber & CVB 

NJ State Chamber of Commerce 

Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce 

Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce 

Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber Of Commerce 

Sea Isle City Chamber / Revitalization 

Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce 


Local Businesses Nationwide 

Alpengirl camp 


Cali Camp 

Camp Nor'wester 

Camp Ocean Pines 

CampGroup LLC 

Canobie Lake Park 

Canoe Island French Camp 

Canyon Creek Summer Camp  

Carmel Valley Tennis Camp 

Catalina Island Camps 

Cedar Fair Entertainment 

Cheley Colorado Camps 

Deer Crossing Camp 

Four Winds Camp 

Friendly Pines Camp 

Knoebels Amusement Resort 

Loon Reservation Service & Sales 

Morey's Piers 

Mountain Camp 

Mountain Camp Woodside 

Mountain View Grand Resort and Spa 

One Love Brewery 

R.M. Pyles Boys Camp 

River Way Ranch Camp 

Shaffer's High Sierra Camp, Inc. 

Signature Services Corporation 

Skylake Yosemite Camp 

Teton Valley Ranch Camp 

The Margate Resort 

The Wilderness Inn 

Tocaloma Day Camp 

Westgate Park City Resort & Spa 


BridgeUSA Program Sponsors  

A Cultural Exchange Service 

Alliance Abroad Group 

Alliance Strategies 

American Exchange Organization, Inc 


Center for International Career Development - CICD 


Cordell Hull Foundation 

Cultural Exchange Network (Cenet) 

Cultural Homestay International (CHI)  

Cultural Vistas  

Dynamic Global Exchange 

Educational Resource Development Trust 


Greenheart International 

InterExchange, Inc. 

International Exchange of North America 

International Teacher Exchange Services LLC 

Intrax Inc.  

NorthWest Student Exchange 

United Studies, Inc 

World Wide Cultural Exchange, Inc. 


Institutions of Higher Education 

Weber State University 

Salt Lake Community College 

The University of Utah 

Utah State University