$2.9 Million in Grants to Train Americans for High-tech Jobs
Many people are critical of the H1-B visa program that allows U.S. high-tech companies to hire foreign workers who temporarily relocate to America. Opponents of the program argue that these jobs should go to American citizens. Now, a portion of the money collected through administration of the H1-B visa program will be used to train American workers in high-tech jobs skills.
On June 18, 2000, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the second of three rounds of demonstration grants for training American workers for high-skill job.. The $29 million round is part of nearly $80 million the Labor Department will invest this year in fees received through the H1-B visa program that allows companies to hire temporary foreign workers.
Funding for the grants, that will serve about 5,000 American works, comes from a portion of the $500 fee companies pay for each H1-B non-immigrant visa for which they apply under 1998's American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act.
"High-tech businesses are in desperate need of high skilled workers," President Clinton said in announcing the grants. "We are committed to business and our workers. with these grants, we can help companies meet their labor needs by training U.S. workers for these high-tech, high-skill jobs."
The funds will enable American workers to receive high-tech training in such targeted occupations as network design, digital media, systems analyst, telecommunications, programming, nursing, bioscience, and animation.
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"We have to address the fact that we don't have a worker shortage but a skills shortage in this country," Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman said. "These grants can help ensure that American workers have the first opportunity for these high-paying jobs. This program helps incumbent workers, dislocated workers and those new to the labor force."
According to Assistant Secretary of Labor Raymond Bramucci, the Labor
Department to-date has committed more than $41 million for training under the
H1-B initiative. in several weeks, the Department's Employment and Training
Administration will begin a third round of competition for these high-tech
The H1-B grants build on current Labor Department initiatives that address high-tech skill shortages, including:
- June 2000: $10.2 million to establish or strengthen regional partnerships aimed at meeting employers' identified skill shortages.
- March 2000: $15.2 million for regional skills consortium building.
- June 1999: $9.57 million to train dislocated workers in computer and electronics manufacturing, machinery and motor vehicles, chemicals and petroleum, specialized instruments and biomedicine.
- June 1998: $7.5 million to 11 organizations to train dislocated workers in information technology skills.
Got the Grants? Grant Award Summaries
Here, you will find a list of the states and cities to which these grants were awarded. Links are provided for viewing or downloading more information on the grants. (Free Adobe Acrobat .pdf Reader required to view the individual files.)
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