By Cindy Hoffman, Staff Writer
(April 13, 2023) Summer Work Travel students or J-1’s can be the lifeblood of some of the local businesses during the bustling summer tourism season.
More than 2,500 students from numerous countries come to the Ocean City area to work for the summer, and for many, it is their first time in the United States.
Ocean City and Ocean Pines Chambers of Commerce work with the local businesses, churches and other organizations to welcome the students and help to make their stay fun and safe.
“There is a whole network of community partners who create these various pieces that support the students. There are free meals offered, businesses that are set up to buy sim cards; they can come to the library and use computers,” Ocean City Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amy Thompson said.
“There are a whole bunch of people who want these students to have a good experience.
“There is a community support group under the umbrella of the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce that is here to support the summer work-travel students coming to our region.”
A website is set up to provide important information to the students: https://summerworktravelocmd.com/
St. Mary’s Star the Sea / Holy Savior Church on 17th Street is spearheading a collection of toiletries and other items for students coming to the Ocean City area to help them settle in.
They are collecting boxed, canned or dry food items, first aid products, gift cards, towels, paper goods, soap and detergent.
All items can be dropped off at 1705 Philadelphia Avenue, Ocean City, Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information on this collection contact Lisa Stevens at email@example.com.
“We are planning two welcome events: Wednesday, June 14 and June 28 to be held at the Residence Inn in Ocean City, where we intend to have tons of useful information for these students,” Thompson said.
Students will learn about local banking, Social Security Administration, churches, the Ocean City police and fire departments, as well as the Beach Patrol, student centers and library facilities and health care.
Thompson has invited anyone who would like to be part of the Community Support Group to contact her to be included in an upcoming meeting at firstname.lastname@example.org.