May 24, 2013

Maine Voices: Immigration reform must help address the skills gap in critical fields

The shortage of so-called STEM workers needs to be addressed through short- and long-term solutions.

By James T. Brett and Michael E. Dubyak

(Continued from page 1)

I-Squared would increase the cap on H-1B visas to 120,000, and would implement an increased fee of $1,000 per visa. The fees collected would be allocated to fund state administered programs to promote both STEM education and worker retraining.

Regardless of which of these proposals is included in the final immigration reform bill, the only way to truly address the shortage of highly skilled workers is to address both the immediate needs of employers and the longer term demands of our growing innovation economy.

We are encouraged that leaders on both sides of the aisle have acknowledged the importance of tackling this challenge in the proposals they have put forth, and urge them to continue to work toward meaningful reform.

As our economy evolves, we must ensure a pipeline of workers skilled in the STEM disciplines, and filling the gap between availability and need will be critical to New England's continued economic growth.

James T. Brett is president and CEO of The New England Council, a nonpartisan regional business association, and Michael E. Dubyak is chairman and CEO of WEX Inc. in South Portland.

 

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)