Reporting on the findings from the Brookings Institute, the Seattle Times notes that, because of companies like Microsoft and Amazon, Seattle is one of the top ten cities in the U.S. when it comes to requesting foreign workers, especially for jobs in the STEM field. However, when it comes to the accompanying grants that the area is supposed to receive to train and educate local workers, Seattle ranks 64th.
In the report titled The Search for Skills: Demand for H-1B Immigrant Workers in U.S. Metropolitan Areas, the Brookings Institute found that the cities with the most foreign worker requests received the lowest amount of training grants while the cities with the lowest amount of foreign worker requests received the highest amount of training grants. The Seattle Times writes, “Of 106 metro areas with a high demand for H-1Bs — at least 250 H-1B visa requests a year — 36 have received no training funds since 2001, the study found. The Seattle metro area received $2 million over the 10-year period.” The fees from the H-IB visa program ($1,500 to $5,500 per applicant) are supposed to go towards funding grants from the Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration.
According to the report, Washington based Microsoft has topped the national list for the past two years when it comes H-IB visa request. For their part, Microsoft often says that the U.S. is not producing enough STEM graduates to fill the jobs needed.
As LEV has reported before, the state of STEM education in Washington could definitely use some improvements when it comes to achievement accessibility.