WMC: President Trump’s H-1B Reform a Step in Right Direction

 

KENOSHA – Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) President/CEO Kurt R. Bauer greeted President Donald Trump at Snap-on in Kenosha on Tuesday during Trump’s first visit to Wisconsin since being sworn in.

Bauer and WMC Senior Vice President of Government Relations Scott Manley were on hand as President Trump signed an executive order to reform the H-1B visa program. The president’s executive order removes the lottery system, and returns the program to its original intent – allowing companies to hire highly skilled workers who immigrate to the U.S. when they cannot find Americans to fill the position.

Bauer released the below statement following President Trump’s event in Kenosha:

“It is no secret that Wisconsin faces a daunting skilled-worker shortage, and we must do everything we can to ensure our state’s employers can find talented workers to fill the jobs they have available. The current H-1B visa program is in need of reform, and we stand with the president’s plan to realign the program to its original intent.

“The idea of the H-1B was to ensure employers could find workers for the most in-demand fields, and a lottery system does nothing to help manufacturers and those in other industries looking for skilled employees. Right now, as many as 80 percent of H-1B workers are making less than the median wage in their fields, which means they could likely be displacing Wisconsin and American workers. That is not the intent of this program.

“We need to go back to the way it was first setup, which put a priority on highly specialized and highly skilled jobs. This will not result in fewer workers obtaining visas, it will simply result in more in-demand jobs being filled when there is not a supply of Wisconsin and American workers.

“There has been a lot of optimism about a Donald Trump presidency – especially among our members – and we look forward to continuing our positive relationship with the president. In addition to helping find more skilled workers for the jobs our state’s employers have available, WMC is encouraged that both regulatory and tax reform are coming up on President Trump’s agenda. We thank the president for visiting Wisconsin and are excited for what the future may hold.”

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For more information, contact:
Nick Novak, 608.258.3400