The number one issue of the Utah Technology Council (UTC) and its members is ensuring a quality workforce for the technology industry. Due to the existing serious talent shortage to fill current positions, it is a must-have for the industry that we immediately expand the nation's supply of skilled workers and innovators this year!
An important component of meeting the talent crisis is having access to top international talent, many of whom are currently being educated in Utah and U.S. institutions of higher education. Our country's immigration policies must be updated to give U.S. companies access to this talent. The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) pending in the United States Senate addresses the following key items in the context of comprehensive immigration reform:
1) Increasing the availability of temporary Skilled Worker (H-1B) visas by substantially raising the annual cap and enabling additional market-based adjustments - creating a program that is more responsive to market demand while avoiding overly burdensome hiring and recruitment requirements.
2) Exempting all advanced STEM degree holders from U.S. universities from the annual employment-based green card cap - retaining more of these highly-sought-after graduates in the U.S. and placing them on a fast track to permanent residency.
3) Creating new investment visas and green cards for immigrant entrepreneurs who launch businesses in the U.S. and meet key job creation, revenue generation, and financing goals----addressing a significant policy gap and fueling the nation's engine of economic growth and innovation.
The Utah Technology Council strongly urges our federal delegation to support legislation that facilitates these three industry priorities.
U.S. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)
Richard R. Nelson
Utah Technology Council
Salt Lake City