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J-1 Summer Work Travel and the Branson Community

About CENET • Non-profit organization dedicated to cultural and international exchange for 22+ years • Our programs: – Magellan: inbound and outbound academic program – Culture In The Community: international education programs for rural elementary schools in Missouri – Department of State designated sponsor for the following J-1 programs: • • • •

Summer Work and Travel Intern Trainee US/Mexico Intern

Work Exchanges Worldwide • 36 countries offer a work exchange program – Includes: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, The UK and The U.S. • Over 700,000 young people benefit from these programs in a typical year. • In the U.S., the J-1 programs were born of the Fulbright-Hays Act, “to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange.”

Cultural Exchange & Public Diplomacy • Encourages understanding and awareness of cultural similarities and differences between Americans and foreign exchange visitors. • Promotes the mission of the Department of State (DOS): public diplomacy efforts of advancing freedom for the benefit of the American people and the international community by helping to build and sustain a more democratic, secure and prosperous world. • Important note: The Summer Work Travel Program is NOT a Department of Labor program and should never displace American workforce.

Key Stakeholders Department of State Designated Visa Sponsors Partner Agencies Host Employers Branson Community Program Participants

About the J-1 Program Participant Profile • Full-time university students • Program length- Up to 4 months • During official summer vacation from school • Sufficient proficiency in English • Intention to participate in cultural exchange State Department Program • DOS designates sponsors • A public-private partnership • Guided by regulations

The Participants • • • • •

Seasonal waiters, housekeepers and shop assistants Future teachers, lawyers, business people and parents A life-changing experience Offsetting cost of the experience by working Placed in positions that are seasonal and temporary

Sponsor Role Student

Agent Sponsor



State Department

Sponsor Role and Responsibilities

• Relationship with DOS • Strong network of overseas partners • Strong relationship with host employers • Support to program participants

The State Department expects that sponsors and employers will have a working relationship

Support for International Students • Pre-program required screening and paperwork (DS-2019) • Research and vetting of all placements and housing • In-program support for all questions regarding program, from SEVIS check-in to Social Security to job challenges • Organizing and promoting cultural activities • 24 Hour Emergency Support

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How do I become a J-1 Host Employer? • Step 1: Contact a Department of State J-1 Visa Sponsor. https://j1visa.state.gov/participants/how-to-apply/sponsorsearch/?program=Summer%20Work%20Travel&state=any

• Step 2: Submit required documents to your selected Sponsor. • • • •

Open position information Job Offer Form (specific to each sponsor) Copy of Business License Verification of Worker’s Compensation Policy

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• Step 3: Communicate and work with Sponsor to secure prearranged housing and anticipate transportation needs • Step 4: Support and get involved in the Branson J1 International Student Outreach Program (ISOP)

What is the Branson ISOP? • A consortium of J-1 visa sponsors, area employers, churches, chamber of commerce, city of Branson, and volunteers • Welcome the nearly 500 participants, introduce them to local resources and safety information • 2016 ISOP activities included: – – – – –

Branson J-1 website and Facbook (www.bransonj1.com) Branson J-1 Handbook Welcome Orientations (6 offered) Thanksoween Dinner J-Day Celebration

Welcome Orientations • 6 orientations offered each Tuesday afternoon • Skyline Baptist Church donated facility use • Employers and community members donated prizes (bikes, Wal-mart gift cards, tickets to area attractions, etc) • Employers arranged transportation • Highest % of attendance compared to ISOPs nationwide

Thanks-o-ween • • • • •

210+ participants attended Skyline Baptist Church, Branson Bank and CENET Thanksgiving dinner Games and prizes Transportation provided

J-Day • 240+ participants attended • Congressional and local offices represented, Mayor Best, Sen Blunt and Sen McCaskill offices • Picnic lunch • Games and prizes • Transportation provided

ISOP Wish List for 2017 • • • • •

Meal program English language program Transportation Resources Growth in community involvement SSA accessibility in Branson

Branson J-1 Community Forum Date: Tuesday, Feb 28th Time: 9:00-11:30am Location: OTC Table Rock Campus (Community Room) Employers, Community Leaders and all interested parties are welcome to attend!

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