Engler, Schramm: Jump-Starting Job Creation

National Association of Manufacturers’ President John Engler and Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, appear on CNBC’s “Street Signs” to discuss jobs creation, with a focus on entrepreneurship, innovation, productivity and the importance of foreign-born employees, education and visas.

Engler: “We are and should be the best country in the  world to do research and Development. We ought to be the best country in the world to headquarter our company. We ought to make sure that all our policies align , whether those are tax policies or research and funding of the basic research in this country. Lot of exciting things on the horizon – We ought to be out in front.”

Schramm: “When it comes to creating jobs, it is these new high-tech jobs that actually do lots of on-the-jobs training that intensify the skills-set of our native born population, so in my ways it is a win-win situation to expand our citizenship with folks who are terribly talented. They’ll help us, we’ll help them.”

Schramm and the Kauffman Foundation support what they’re calling an “immigrant’s visa,” described in a Wall Street Journal editorial Tuesday, “Start-up Visas Can Jump-Start the Economy,” by investors Paul Kedrosky and Brad Feld:

In the 21st century … opportunities don’t wait for our interminable, employment-based visa programs. As a result rather than saying “Come and create jobs here” we, in effect, tell them to shove off. Come back when you have a few million in sales— at which point they will be rooted elsewhere and creating jobs somewhere else.

That needs to end now. Immigrants who come here to create companies create jobs. We need the jobs.

One good idea to make this process easier is to create a new visa for entrepreneurs, something that is increasingly being called by venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and angel investors a “start-up visa.” It might work like this: If immigrant entrepreneurs want to start a company in the U.S. and are able to raise a moderate amount of money (perhaps as little as $125,000) from an accredited U.S.-based venture capital firm or qualified U.S.-based angel investors, we should let them start a company here. It could be a couple of founders with an idea—that’s it. We would give visas to the founders and welcome them in to our country.

One minor error at the start by Erin Burnett: Schramm is attending today’s White House Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth (Kauffman Foundation news release), but the NAM’s Engler is not. Manufacturing is well represented among the 130 attendees, however.


Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Craig says:

    Thanks for this article. I think that far too few people realize the positive impact this visa can have on the economy. These eb5 investor visas are a fantastic option for foreign investors and a great boon to local economies in need. They represent a true win/win for all involved.

  • One point that may be overlooked is the fact that entrepreneurs need capital in order to create commercial enterprises that create jobs. Up until recently, credit markets were there to help U.S. business owners and developers, but now much of the access to this “seed” capital is cut off or too expensive for all but the most credit worthy clients – typically not your start ups. One U.S. government visa program, the EB-5 immigrant investor visa green allows foreign nationals to invest in U.S. projects in return for a green card.

    This program has allowed a number of U.S. companies to start operations, as well as provide capital to distressed companies to continue keeping U.S. workers employed and has created, or saved tens of thousands of American jobs. The program is not perfect, but if the choice of funding our economy comes either from increased levels of debt (often borrowed by issuing Treasury notes to foreign buyers) or from foreign equity invested, I will take the equity invested every time.

    For a listing of the states which have established these EB-5 Regional Centers, and encouraged the creation of U.S. jobs through this program http://eb5regionalcenters.com/, and for news and general information about the program http://eb5news.com/ .

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