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H-1B Technical Skill Training Grants (SGA/DFA 99-019)

PRESS RELEASE

CONTACT:      Chung Seto
OFFICE:      (202)693-4650

GRANTS OF $12.4 MILLION WILL TRAIN U.S. WORKERS FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND HEALTH CARE JOBS OFTEN FILLED BY FOREIGN WORKERS

The U.S. Department of Labor is awarding $12.4 million in grants to train American workers for high-skill jobs in places where companies are facing labor shortages in those fields. The grants are funded by a portion of the $500 fee employers pay for each visa to import temporary workers from other countries.

"We have a growing crisis in the technology sector because of the shortage of trained workers," President Clinton said. "Some companies are looking to foreign countries to fill the gap. We have workers here who can and should be trained for those jobs. These funds are designed for just that purpose."

"The two fields where we see the most applications for foreign workers are information technology and health care," Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman said. "We have to address the skill shortages and ensure that American workers have the first opportunity for these high-paying jobs."

Secretary Herman said the grants will provide training for 3,000 workers and are going to:

Regional Employment Board of Hampden County in Springfield, Mass., $1.5 million; NOVA Private Industry Council in Sunnyvale, Calif., $1.3 million; Pima County Community Services Department in Tucson, $1.5 million; the city of Chicago, $1.5 million; Seattle-King County Private Industry Council, $1.5 million; the Workplace, Inc. in Bridgeport, Conn., $1.5 million; Philadelphia Workforce Development Corp., Inc., $563,057; New Hampshire Job Training Council in Concord, $1.5 million; Prince Georges Workforce Services Corp., Landover, Md., $1.5 million.

The so-called "H-1B" visa is a six-year, temporary visa for foreigners with college degrees. A $500 fee is required for each visa. Employers have increasingly used this program as demand for information technology workers grows.

In coming months, the Labor Department will issue another $40 million in skills grants to communities around the country.

The funded projects train workers for jobs that are in demand in the local market. Usually, local businesses that need workers help to develop the training in partnership with government agencies and colleges. For instance, Cisco Systems and Sun Microsystems are partners in the California project and Bell Atlantic is one of several corporate partners in the Maryland grant program.

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NOTIFICATION OF AWARD


The U.S. Department of Labor is awarding $12.4 million in grants to train American workers for high-skill jobs in places where companies are facing labor shortages in those fields. The grants are funded by a portion of the $500 fee employers pay for each visa to import temporary workers from other countries.

"We have a growing crisis in the technology sector because of the shortage of trained workers," President Clinton said. "Some companies are looking to foreign countries to fill the gap. We have workers here who can and should be trained for those jobs. These funds are designed for just that purpose."

"The two fields where we see the most applications for foreign workers are information technology and health care," Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman said. "We have to address the skill shortages and ensure that American workers have the first opportunity for these high-paying jobs."

Secretary Herman said the grants will provide training for 3,000 workers and are going to:

Regional Employment Board of Hampden County in Springfield, Mass., $1.5 million

NOVA Private Industry Council in Sunnyvale, Calif., $1.3 million

Pima County Community Services Department in Tucson, $1.5 million;

City of Chicago, $1.5 million

Seattle-King County Private Industry Council, $1.5 million

The Workplace, Inc. in Bridgeport, Conn., $1.5 million

Philadelphia Workforce Development Corp., Inc., $563,057

New Hampshire Job Training Council in Concord, $1.5 million

Prince Georges Workforce Services Corp., Landover, Md., $1.5 million

The so-called "H-1B" visa is a six-year, temporary visa for foreigners with college degrees. A $500 fee is required for each visa. Employers have increasingly used this program as demand for information technology workers grows.

In coming months, the Labor Department will issue another $40 million in skills grants to communities around the country.

The funded projects train workers for jobs that are in demand in the local market. Usually, local businesses that need workers help to develop the training in partnership with government agencies and colleges. For instance, Cisco Systems and Sun Microsystems are partners in the California project and Bell Atlantic is one of several corporate partners in the Maryland grant program.