On the opening day to submit applications for H-1B visas for highly educated and skilled employees, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) praised policymakers who support raising the visa cap from its current 65,000 limit along with other more long-term solutions to America’s serious shortage of highly skilled employees.

 

“We are grateful to those members of Congress who have acknowledged the significant and growing shortage of highly skilled employees needed to keep America on the leading edge of innovation,” said NAM president and CEO John Engler on April 1. “We thank these leaders for taking steps to remedy this threat to U.S. economic growth and global competitiveness.”  

 

Like last year, the fiscal year 2009 visa cap of 65,000 is expected to be reached on the same day applications are first accepted, April 1. Engler praised members of Congress who have supported a higher H-1B visa cap through legislative initiatives. 

 

“Manufacturers will continue to push for bipartisan immigration reform that permanently solves the inadequacies of both the H-B visa and employment-based green card systems,” Engler said. “In addition to insufficient H-1B visa numbers, the employment based green card system – which allows highly educated foreign-born employees to remain in the United States – is plagued by backlogs and multi-year waiting times. The NAM supports efforts to provide a permanent fix to these programs that will meet the growing and unmet need for highly skilled employees in the manufacturing and broader economy.”

 

The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation’s largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country. Visit www.nam.org for more information about manufacturing and the economy.