STEM Jobs Act a Positive Step Toward Closing the Skills Gap

By September 18, 2012General

Manufacturers need a skilled workforce to succeed in today’s global economy. Although we need machinists and welders, we also need to ensure that the innovators, those driving change and invention, come and stay in the US.

Many of the smartest people from around the world come to the US to be educated. That is why the NAM commends introduction of the “STEM Jobs Act of 2012” by thank Chairman Lamar Smith and we urge Congress to pass it. This bill will allow manufacturers access to talent without increasing the total number of visas.  By creating two new employment-based visa categories for Masters and PhD graduates from qualified universities in STEM fields, the bill allows for a streamlined green card process.  This is an important step towards reforming the employment-based visa system to retain talent and encourage innovation, so US manufacturing can remain a global leader. This positive step is recognized by both Democrats and Republicans as evidenced by bills authored by both Rep Lofgren and Senator Schumer that also increase employment based visas.  The NAM has long worked for a bi-partisan solution to this problem and will continue to pursue broad reforms.

The NAM looks forward to working with the co-sponsors to promote this valuable legislation.

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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  • Dolores1982 says:

    As the mother of four American STEM grads, who watched them struggle in our economy to find work and launch their adult lives, this quest for STEM visas baffles me. I was a graduation ceremony volunteer for years at a major US research university where I used to work too, and I saw for myself how America has a vast number of wonderful citizen STEM grads. Many of these American kids had to move home and wait tables over the last decade in our dreadful economy, while the foreign STEM grads were aggressively recruited for jobs in America, and the bad times are not over yet by any means. Foreign grads are supposed to go home and lift up their own nations. That’s the entire original purpose of the student visa, and it’s a form of theft for America to retain them. Meanwhile, we continue to ignore, discount, and squander the talents of our own citizen STEM grads. Why, we’re treating them just like we’ve treated American vs. foreign workers over the last decade. Isn’t it way past time we started focusing on own skilled and educated workers, valuing them, and getting them back to work?

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