Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Entrepreneurs say they desperately need more foreign workers

According to a brief from Worldwide ERC, U.S. entrepreneurs say they desperately need more foreign workers but the government is only making it harder. Maureen Torrey, who owns Torrey Farms in upstate New York, says she cannot find Americans with the skills she needs to tend her crops and her farm has lost money for the past two years. Meanwhile Atul Jain of Global Software Solutions says he may have to send work overseas this year because there are not enough Americans with technology skills and a willingness to spend months overseas. “We’re in a crisis situation as we see no action by Washington,” he says. He and other entrepreneurs had hoped immigration reform would bring in more foreign talent, but Congress has not moved on the issue and federal agencies are making it harder to get employment visas. Regulators say they are protecting U.S. jobs and want to make sure they are not being taken by foreigners, but Jain says “The economy will not improve just because foreign workers can’t come.” The problem is tougher for small companies, as they have fewer resources for managing visa applications or establishing units overseas to take advantage of cheaper labor.

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