NEC Leads Coalition of Biz Groups in Urging Senate to Support STEM Fund
BOSTON (June 12, 2013) – The New England Council, the nation’s oldest regional business association representing over 400 companies and organizations throughout the region, has joined with 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 a 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:
The New England Council, the country’s oldest regional business organization, is an alliance of businesses, academic and health institutions, and public and private organizations throughout New England formed to promote economic growth and a high quality of life in the region. The Council is dedicated to identifying and supporting federal public policies and articulating the voice of its membership regionally and nationally on important issues facing New England. The NEC is also committed to working with public and private sector leaders across the region and in Washington through educational programs and forums for information exchange. For more information, please visit: www.newenglandcouncil.com.