[Here they claim 130,000 IT jobs will be created each year.]
Michigan Economic Development Corporation Executive Committee Supports
American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act
Raising Number of H-1B Visas is Critical for Michigan's Economic Future
Updated 10:02 AM ET May 25, 2000
LANSING, Mich., May 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The Michigan Economic Development
Corporation (MEDC) executive committee announced their support of the
American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act today.
The act, co-sponsored by Sen. Spence Abraham, R-Michigan, will lift the
number of H-1B visas from 115,000 to 195,000 per year for three years.
These visas are available to foreign nationals who hold at least a U.S.
bachelor's degree or the equivalent.
"As a foreign-born professional, I have capitalized on my skills and U.S.
business opportunities and founded ASC, Inc. Today, ASC is the flagship of
a diversified company with more than 5,000 American employment
opportunities," said Heinz Prechter, Michigan Economic Development
Corporation board member and chairman and CEO of ASC, Inc. "This act will
give foreign-born entrepreneurs, like myself, the chance to use their
skills to bolster our national and local economies. I have never taken a
single job from American workers but have given thousands to Americans,
strengthening the economy of our state and country."
The act also will exempt higher educational institutions, research
institutions and foreign students graduating from the U.S. with a master's
or PhD degree from the H-1B cap.
"Increasing the number of H-1B visas will ensure that Michigan businesses
have the workers they need to fill their vacant high-tech positions," said
Facundo del Valle Bravo, Michigan Economic Development Corporation board
member and president and CEO of Uni-Boring, Inc. "Despite our intensive
efforts to boost the Michigan's high-tech workforce, the economy is
creating skills and demands that education and industry training alone
cannot satisfy in the short term."
The Department of Labor's figures show that the U.S. economy will produce
more than 130,000 information technology jobs in each of the next 10
years, for a total of 1.3 million. However, U.S. universities are expected
to produce less than a quarter of the necessary number of information
technology graduates over the next 10 years.
In particular, Michigan's businesses are experiencing an increased demand
for high-tech workers. To help alleviate this demand, the Michigan
Economic Development Corporation recently announced a plan to dedicate
their entire advertising budget to recruiting high-tech workers.
The act also specifies that the additional $450 million raised over three
years from the H-1B visa fees will be used for training and scholarships
for U.S. worker. About 40,000 scholarships will be created from the
"The act may help stop a newly prevalent trend of Michigan companies
stealing workers from other local companies and companies moving their
operations elsewhere in order to find skilled workers," said Prechter.
"However, elevating the number H-1B visas is just a temporary fix. The
scholarships address the long term plan to nurture and bolster our own
high- tech talent."
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation works in partnership with
local communities and Michigan businesses to retain and expand job
opportunities and improve Michigan's overall business climate. For more
information, on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation's
initiatives and programs, visit the website at www.michigan.org
Contact: Kathleen McMahon of Michigan Economic Development Corporation,