“Manufacturers are dealing with a skills gap that has left 600,000 jobs vacant across the nation,” Jay Timmons, president and CEO of NAM, said in a statement. “By reforming the H-1B visa system, manufacturers can fill existing jobs today while strengthening the U.S. STEM education pipeline to ensure that U.S. college graduates are able to fill those jobs tomorrow.”
The group is endorsing a plan that would allow private companies to pay for short-term increases in worker visas and green cards. Under their proposal, the companies would then fund recruiting and training programs for American science and technology teachers.
The coalition also includes the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Caterpillar Inc., the Council of Chief State School Officers, IBM Corp., Intel Corp. and the League of United Latin American Citizens.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.