InterExchange proudly joined over 400 Chambers of Commerce, associations, and businesses nationwide to endorse the bi-partisan House Resolution introduced on June 7, 2023 by Representatives Blake Moore (R-UT) and Annie Kuster (D-NH).
The resolution was re-introduced for the second year in a row to reaffirm bipartisan Congressional support of the U.S. Department of State BridgeUSA programs. The Resolution (118HRes481) asserts that these international and cultural exchange programs are vital to the economy, national security, and public diplomacy interests of the United States, deserving robust support from the U.S. Department of State, and visa prioritization at United States Embassies and consulates abroad.
“The BridgeUSA Summer Work program is an essential part of our culture here,” says Liza Murray, Team Member Services Manager at Westgate Park City Resort and Spa in Utah. “BridgeUSA participants provide a level of diversity that enhances the work experience of all of our team members. It has been amazing to witness the bond that our local workforce has with each individual international student.” Murray goes on to recount participants from this past winter bringing in home-cooked meals for local team members so they could share a piece of themselves with the others. “This program is paving the way for inclusivity across the globe.”
According to Kerry Labovitz, Director at Windsor Mountain camp in New Hampshire, “The Bridge USA Program provides summer camps with so much more than vital summer camp staff. This exchange program enriches our entire community by providing cultural diversity, awareness, and understanding.” This summer, Windsor Mountain is proud to host camp counselors from Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Poland, Hungary, Serbia, Jamaica, Mexico, Columbia, South Africa, Brazil, New Zealand, and Australia.
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.
“We sincerely thank and appreciate Representatives Annie Kuster and Blake Moore for their strong support of BridgeUSA educational and cultural exchange programs, and for their direct and continuous engagement with InterExchange Summer Work Travel and Camp Counselor Program host employers and participants in their respective districts,” say Christine La Monica-Lunn, CEO and President at InterExchange. “InterExchange is honored to sponsor programs for young people from around the world, providing opportunities for them to experience American culture first-hand, while sharing their own cultures and creating life-lasting connections within local communities in Utah, New Hampshire, and all across our country.”
Rep. Blake Moore press release with comments from Reps. Blake Moore (R-UT), Annie Kuster (D-NH) and Chris Pappas (D-NH) can be found here.