High-Skill Training: Grants from H-1B Visa Fees Meet Specific Workforce Needs, but at Varying Skill Levels

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In recent years, U.S. employers have complained of shortages of workers with higher-level skills in information technology, the sciences, and other fields. To find workers with these skills, employers often turn to foreign workers who enter the United States with H-1B visas to work in specialty occupations. Despite the recent economic downturn, employers report that they continue to need higher-skilled workers. Congress passed the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to create a system connecting employment, education, and training services to better match workers to labor market ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. September 20, 2002.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In recent years, U.S. employers have complained of shortages of workers with higher-level skills in information technology, the sciences, and other fields. To find workers with these skills, employers often turn to foreign workers who enter the United States with H-1B visas to work in specialty occupations. Despite the recent economic downturn, employers report that they continue to need higher-skilled workers. Congress passed the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to create a system connecting employment, education, and training services to better match workers to labor market needs. In 1998, Congress passed legislation raising limits on the number of high-skilled workers entering the United States and imposing a $500 fee on employers--which was later raised to $1000--for each foreign worker for whom they applied. Most of the money collected is to be spent on training that improves the skill of U.S. workers. The National Science Foundation (NSF) receives 22 percent of the funds to distribute as scholarship grants to post-secondary schools that distribute the funds as scholarships for low-income students in computer science, engineering, and mathematics degree programs. The grantees operating skill grant programs use the flexibility allowed by the Department of Labor to administer training through a variety of service delivery options to individuals whose skills need to be upgraded, whereas NSF's scholarship grant programs provide scholarships to low-income students for college degree programs. The training offered by the skill grant programs is based on local workforce needs, although sometimes for lower-skill jobs than those filled by H-1B visa holders, and the scholarship program's training is based on national workforce needs and the types of jobs that many H-1B visa holders fill. Although federal initiatives are not coordinated to strategically address high-skill needs at a national level, local skill grant programs increased coordination, though Labor provided limited assistance to enhance these efforts."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 20, 2002

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. High-Skill Training: Grants from H-1B Visa Fees Meet Specific Workforce Needs, but at Varying Skill Levels, report, September 20, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290581/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.