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SC tourism businesses hire foreign student workers

Aug 15, 2010 4:00:00 PM - thestate.com
Visitors to South Carolina's coast during the summer are as likely to be waited on by a college student from Taiwan or Eastern Europe as they are a local teen, The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reported Sunday.

Hundreds of foreign workers every year find summer work along the state's Grand Strand, despite a statewide jobless rate of 10 percent. But Sheryl Kline of the University of South Carolina's School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management said the seasonal jobs are not the work the state's unemployed are looking for.

"Are they taking Americans' jobs? Not if you're thinking of someone who wants to take a job for a livelihood," Kline said. "Could Americans easily do the jobs they do? Yes, but people just don't want to wait tables or they don't want to clean rooms."

Student-workers who spoke to the newspaper said they don't really make much money while they are here, usually just enough to pay their living expenses and to enjoy a summer away from home.

Student Chen Kuan Chi is from Taiwan and studies at the National Central University 30 minutes outside Taipei. He decided late last year that he wanted to tag along with a friend who planned to work in the U.S. for the summer.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)