House Bill Would Offer Step Toward Closing Skills Gap for Manufacturers

By November 29, 2011Human Resources

It’s well known that manufacturers are facing a skills gap and need access to skilled talent to innovate and retain competitiveness. While developing the domestic pipeline of skilled labor is the utmost priority for manufacturers, we are still in need of global talent to remain competitive and grow the economy. 

As it stands today, each nation has access to no more than 7% of the total green cards the United States issues on an annual basis – however individuals with highly skilled talent in demand are not equally distributed globally.  This creates significant barriers for manufacturers, whose options for maintaining and promoting valued employees are limited by this arbitrary cap. By phasing out the per-country limits, equally-qualified visa applicants would be considered on a first come-first served basis and employers would have greater flexibility to keep talented individuals in the US.

A solution to this problem exists in H.R. 3012, the “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2011,” which amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to phase out and eliminate the per country limits for employment based visas and places more emphasis on employer demand.  The bill is being considered by the House today.  We hope that it will be passed as a good step toward developing the workforce that manufacturers need.

Christine Scullion

Christine Scullion

Director of Human Resources Policy at National Association of Manufacturers
Christine Scullion is the director of human resources policy at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). Mrs. Scullion  oversees the NAM’s human resources policy work and has expertise on issues ranging from health care, immigration, workforce and education issues and the federal rulemaking process.  Mrs. Scullion’ s background includes policy and government relations experience on a range key health care, immigration and workforce issues. Mrs. Scullion received her MBA from the Rutgers and undergraduate degree from Penn State University.
Christine Scullion

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  • Leon says:

    According to the committee report for H.R. 3012, there are already a number of modifications to this per country rule in each of the five employment-based preference categories. As a result, natives of India received 31,118 or 22% of all employment-based immigrant visas in 2010, while natives of the People’s Republic of China received 17,949, rather than the 9,800 that 7% of the 140,000 available employment-based immigrant visas would represent.
    Twenty years ago they closed the factories and outsourced the jobs to India and China. Now they want to in-source Indian and Chinese nationals to take your job away right here at home. The immediate effect of H.R. 3012 will be to give tens of thousands more Green Cards to Indian and Chinese nationals to take American jobs. Are these jobs Americans can’t do? Tell that to the thousands of unemployed college graduates and people in the tech sector.

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