January 2, 2007, - 2:23 pm

The Job Americans Just Won’t Do . . . Hockey Coach?!

By Debbie Schlussel
College Hockey Coach. Yes, that’s the latest of the “jobs Americans just won’t do.”
I’m sure there are a lot of American hockey coaches (I know some) who’d beg to differ.
But that’s the case at college hockey powerhouse, the University of Alaska-Anchorage (UAA). Their coach, Dave Shyiak, a Canadian, has the job, but he’s not a U.S. citizen.
So, like most jobs held by foreigners here on temporary work permits for special talents–H-1B Specialty/Professional Workers Visas–UAA must prove it cannot find anyone qualified Americans who will do the job at the hours and wages specified. To do so–like all other H-1B employers in America, who simply don’t want to hire an American at competitive market wages and conditions–UAA places a phony newspaper ad looking for candidates for the job who are American citizens or legal residents.

daveshyiak.jpg

Hockey Coach Dave Shyiak Does The “Job Americans Just Won’t Do”

But no-one–much less no American–submitting his resume will get a try-out or audition coaching men’s hockey at UAA. It’s a joke.
The story is a great example of how you can learn a lot about what’s going on in America from the sports pages.
While we don’t have a huge problem with Canadians getting college hockey posts in Alaska, that’s not the point. The point is that there are always aliens filling jobs here that could be taken by Americans–there is no shortage of hungry American hockey coaches who’d love to coach at UAA.
But, instead, employers put out these phony ads–you see them every Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal–setting phony hours (“40 hours per week, 9-5″) and fake conditions with good pay. Tons of people–tons of AMERICANS–apply for the jobs. But they are never chosen. The ads are a formality. Just plain phony–to abide by the law–and show that there are no “qualified” Americans for the job (when there are plenty).
The hockey position is one thing. But there are plenty of other jobs in other industries that unemployed Americans would love to fill. But can’t. Because no-one is looking at their resumes in response to those phony ads. And no-one is hiring them.
Instead, they’re bringing in foreign labor, claiming they can’t find the “qualified” workers here . . . when that’s usually a lie. It’s one of the areas of “legal” immigration that must be curtailed.
Hockey coach . . . one of the many jobs “Americans won’t do.” Right.

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16 Responses

Jiffylube hires oil change techs on H-1B’s. They sneak through on “science & tech” Visas.
Canada is getting pretty bold in the poaching of American jobs.

MarySJ on January 2, 2007 at 2:49 pm

Hell, my wife is Bulgarian and has her permanent residency in the US … not a “work visa,” but permanent residency, on the way to citizenship. Despite four years working computers for cable internet and television, she can’t get a call back from an employer to save her life down in Corpus Christi, TX … this place is Little Mexico, and if you’re not part of their clique, you don’t get a job.

ComicTragedy on January 2, 2007 at 5:21 pm

Is the requirement that the employer not be able to find qualified American workers, or that the employer not be able to find qualified American workers who will do the job for the wages that he wants to pay?
If it’s the latter, then it could very well be legal what these employers are doing (except in the hockey coach position). If it’s the former, then the government is essentially dictating that companies must pay higher wages than they want to.
And with either version, the government is giving itself the right to decide what “qualified” means. If I ran a business, I wouldn’t want the government looking over my shoulder, deciding for me which of my employees are qualified or aren’t qualified. If I found a Canadian guy with amazing qualifications who I want to sponsor for a work visa, I wouldn’t want to have to wade through piles of bureaucracy proving that there isn’t an American who’d be “good enough.”
The system that you want to be in place reminds me of a lot of affirmative action programs. Maybe the Canadian hockey coach was the most qualified for the job, but the way you want it, an American who is “qualified enough” should be given preference. This is like a lot of the arguments the University of Michigan presented in the Gratz/Grutter vs. Bollinger Supreme Court cases – “Sure, we could have a student body comprised of the most qualified students, but the blacks we give preferences to are ‘qualified enough,’ so what difference does it make?”
I’ll grant you that the legal implications are very different, since you’re giving preference based on citizenship rather than skin color, but government mandated preferences of any form still don’t sit well with me.

Dan on January 2, 2007 at 7:20 pm

Canada is the FIRST NATION of hockey. Period.
The CFL is loaded with American coaching staff. Why?
AMERICANS start playing football from a very early age and the caliber of players and coaches is FAR SUPERIOR to parallel Canadian talent. Canadians usually start playing football, seriously, only in high school.
The reverse is true regarding Canadians and Americans and hockey.
NO POACHING and no mystery about it MarySJÖSociety of JesusÖNo boldness either, just acceptance of reality.
The University of Alaska-Anchorage (UAA) certainly didnít pick the BEST CANADIAN for the job.
WE ALL know the French-Canadiens had to passÖbecause of the language barrier~

The Canadien on January 2, 2007 at 8:38 pm

I have no problem accepting Canadians are far superior hockey players than Americans. Game, set and match to you there. As a Long Islander by birth- I am a LaCrosse fan anyway! I did get a little swept up during the Islanders reign in the early eighties I will admit. I simply have a issue with a school that is in receipt of American tuition and taxes is not hiring an American to do the job. You may call it reality- but I call it an organized invasion no better than the one our neighbors to the South are orchestrating. America does NOT NEED any more Canadian truck drivers or oil change greasemonkeys. More attention has to be paid to the fact that the U.S. Canadian border IS an International boundry. The Canucks treat it like it’s just another toll booth. Get out your passport, prove your citizenship and most of all treat the men and women who guard our border with respect and we’ll all get along just dandy.

MarySJ on January 2, 2007 at 9:52 pm

And one more thing The SJ is my middle and last initial. I go to church every few days but I don’t belong to any organized “Society of Jesus”. I do cook for funeral luncheons and chaperone parish field trips though.
Peace be with you.

MarySJ on January 2, 2007 at 9:55 pm

Exactly why don’t we need more Canadian truck drivers and greasemonkeys? If an American employer is willing to hire them, then most likely they’re contributing to our economy in some way. Who are you to say what’s best for the trucking and car maintenance industries?

Dan on January 3, 2007 at 12:50 am

I assume these jobs Canadians are taking are legally blessed by the government in which case it probably shouldnt be a problem. The problem is with the illegal workers you are not supposed to be in the US and who work for third world wages in the US without paying taxes.
Salary expectations of Canadians compared to Americans are pretty well equal so it is not a threat to watering down the quality of employment in the US. Now if Canadians start working for 2 bucks an hour then we have a problem.

wisemonkey on January 3, 2007 at 3:05 am

The reason we do not need any more Canadian truck drivers and mechanics is the simple fact that American employers are abusing the H-1B and TN’s. Those are only supposed to be issued to those who hold skills that no AMERICAN can be found to preform. You don’t even need a GED to do those jobs- I’d rather see someone on welfare with the jobs than a foreigner. Lower taxes for social programs leaves more capital for employers to pay a living wage. Duh.

MarySJ on January 3, 2007 at 10:28 am

My understanding of the H1-B1 visa requirements are not that there are no americans who will do the job, but simply that the foreigner is qualified for the job.

J. Lichty on January 3, 2007 at 1:20 pm

I’m a degreed engineer. When I lost my job in Illinois, I went to the Office of Employment Security (Unemployment Office) in Arlington Heights and signed up for unemployment. I was told no jobs available that I qualifed for. I went to their computer terminals and found half a dozen that I was more than qualified for. I demanded that I be allow to apply. The employee hesitated, but I insisted. He put me off for an hour and a half and then came back and said, “No”! I demanded an answer! He then admitted that these jobs were already filled. Companies had decided who they wanted and would be filled with foreign works, but first the companies had to advertise the jobs, tell all American applicants “Get lost!”, then apply for work visas for their new foreign employees.

Burt on January 3, 2007 at 1:23 pm

i’m sure there are plenty of americans who wanted the job. but, there is a big difference between picking fruit and coaching hockey at the college level. i’m sure the job was awarded to the guy with the most experience. let’s face it… canadiens learn how to skate before they can walk.

piker on January 3, 2007 at 2:18 pm

JLichty-
Your understanding is wrong. In order to qualify for the H1-B1 visa the prospective employer has to prove that there is no qualified American willing and able to preform the job.

MarySJ on January 3, 2007 at 3:57 pm

“JLichty-
Your understanding is wrong. In order to qualify for the H1-B1 visa the prospective employer has to prove that there is no qualified American willing and able to preform the job.”
I can believe that, but what a stupid law, really.
If worded as you say it is:
1. The law demands that you prove a negative.
2. The law determines for employers the definition of “qualified.”
3. The law determines that “qualified enough” should trump what the employer deems “most qualified.”
If Americans were better at their jobs and less whiny and demanding than Canadians, there wouldn’t be this problem. This isn’t a case of illegals sneaking across the border here. This is legitimate businesses hiring people who are here in the country legally.
“The government needs a giant bureaucracy to force businesses to hire American citizens first!” is the babyish cry of losers who can’t compete on their own.

Dan on January 4, 2007 at 8:39 pm

Debbie, while in Alaska I would expect that maybe more Americans in Alaska would be interested in coaching hockey, remember that outside of a few northern (and mostly north-central/northeastern for that matter) cities like your native Detroit, Minneapolis, Buffalo, Boston, to a lesser extent Chicago, New York and Philly; hockey has an even smaller fan base than soccer, probably more so during this “winter of spring”.
Whereas in most of Canada, it is like baseball or football is here. So maybe you’re just seeing it from your Detroit/Canadian border eyes.

hairymon on January 4, 2007 at 9:52 pm

UAA’s coach has been working at US Universities and paying taxes in the US for 12 years. The DOL has it backward. They should not hire non-US workers using the H1-B visa and then make them leave when they decide to get permanent residency in the US.
Many US citizens coach in Canada. Logistically, UAA gets most of their players from Canada, who better to recruit for that school than a Canadian?
What is ludicrous about this, is that 5 men applied for the job – men who are gainfully employed and I don’t think they applied for the job 2 years ago when UAA hired their coach.

hockeyfaninak on January 29, 2007 at 12:55 pm

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