NEC Leads Coalition of Business Groups Supporting STEM Fund
The New England Council is leading a coalition of 10 other regional chambers of commerce and business organizations in urging New England’s Senators to support the inclusion of a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) education fund in the comprehensive immigration reform bill currently before the U.S. Senate. Organizations from all six New England states signed a letter sent to the New England Senate delegation yesterday.
“As the Senate considers bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform legislation this month, they have the opportunity to address one of the most serious impediments to economic growth in New England: the shortage of highly skilled workers in the STEM fields,” said James T. Brett, President & CEO of the New England Council. “The bill before the Senate addresses this shortage in the short term by increasing the cap on H-1B visas, and in the long term by creating a new STEM education fund to develop a domestic pipeline of STEM workers for the future. We’re pleased that so many of our fellow business organizations in New England have joined us in supporting this measure.”
In their letter sent to each of the 12 New England Senators, the coalition of New England business groups specifically endorses an amendment to the bill that would establish a STEM education fund supported by new fees for employers seeking to hire high-skilled foreign workers. The fund was originally proposed in the bipartisan Immigration and Innovation Act of 2013 (I-Squared), which a number of New England Senators co-sponsored and the New England Council endorsed. As outlined in the new amendment to the comprehensive immigration reform bill, the fund would allow states to strengthen their STEM education programs and expand opportunities for more students to pursue careers in STEM fields.
In addition to The New England Council, the following organizations signed the letter: