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Aug. 1, 2014 9:30 am

12K foreign workers in Md. use H-1B visas, half at one firm [Links Roundup]

The Baltimore Sun digs in to the controversial visa program bringing skilled workers to the U.S. Also, the Business Journal ponders the state's edtech scene. It's the Friday Links Roundup.

Getting work visas for skilled workers remains a contentious issue.

(Photo by Flickr user Jeff Nelson, used under a Creative Commons language)

links

Tech companies tap visa program to meet workforce needs, despite challenges, controversy [Baltimore Sun]: “On April 1 every year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offers up H-1B visas for positions to begin no earlier than the start of the federal fiscal year Oct. 1. Although it can be tricky for many companies to plan so specifically more than six months in advance, the demand is nonetheless crushing — the agency received 172,500 applications for the visa allotment this April 1, meaning slightly less than half of the applications were approved in a lottery to winnow the list.”

3 things Maryland must do to be a leader in ed-tech [Baltimore Business Journal]: “‘I think we have a unique opportunity to build an ecosystem,’ said Frank Bonsal III, an ed-tech venture capitalist who leads Towson University’s business incubator. ‘An ecosystem takes 20 years to build. We’re on year three.’”

Towson incubator wants modern downtown Towson space [Baltimore Business Journal]: “Ideally, Bonsal wants a new office that has both more space and a more modern feel with open areas for co-working and socialization. A more visible and modern office is part of the vision Bonsal, who took over the incubator last year, has for the incubator.”

Chesapeake High students win App Challenge [The Daily Record]: “Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger on Monday presented awards to three students from Chesapeake High School in Essex as the winners of his first high school App Challenge.”

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Tyler Waldman

Tyler Waldman is lead reporter for Technical.ly Baltimore. A Towson University graduate and former local editor for Patch.com, Tyler has also written and photographed for publications including the Baltimore Brew, Howard County Times and Towson Times. He lives in Charles Village.

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  • OhioProgrammer

    The H1B Visa program has destroyed the American engineering profession.

    It’s a simple but sad case of supply and demand. When you dump additional labor into a market, the price of labor goes down.

    India has 1.17 BILLION people, four times the population of the United States. The H1B Visa program was written by large American tech companies whose only motivation is to increase their profits. Their biggest expense of a tech company, of course, is engineering labor. So they wrote the H1B wording, and had the US Congress make it a law. That was over 12 years ago.

    So today in literally every major American corporation, you will see the same pattern: Foreign H1B Visa engineers sitting in two out of three cubicles, mostly from India and China, getting paid low wages. You will see the remaining American engineers getting lower and lower wages if they can find work at all.

    On average, the American engineer will have better skills, but that doesn’t make any difference because the foreign H1B visa engineers are dirt cheap, and there are hordes of them.

    America college kids see what’s going on. They see senior American engineers being paid low wages. They see throngs of foreign H1B visa engineers flooding the American labor market. And even though these American kids are interested in engineering and science, they decide not major in engineering because it now has a poor future.

    This is how the H1B visa program has destroyed the American engineering profession. This is all thanks to a corrupt Congress and a weakling President, too weak to defend the vulnerable American middle class.

  • varg_vikernes

    An American must face unbelievable scrutiny in looking for a job. Top notch skills, exemplary job history, superb communication skills, good looks and great connections. You must have it all simply put. An H1B on the other hand is not judged in the same manor, or even close. They just need some form of education and a willingness to take a 6 week course prior to employment. I found the best thing to do is not even try looking. It does not matter what skills you teach yourself. Skills alone are not nearly enough to be a programmer if your American.

    • OhioProgrammer

      Well said, var_vikernes. Employers have such a glut in the pool of American of tech workers looking for work that they start asking for the sky. Thirty years ago if an American company wanted to hire an engineer, they were very happy to find a candidate with basic engineering qualifications, and treated such a candidate with respect and hired him on the spot.
      Now they ask him if he has a wonderful team spirit, a marvelous ability to tell good jokes and stories, and is he a good athlete, too? Also, does he have a fantastic voice?
      The H1B Visa Program is quickly destroying the American engineering profession, the backbone of the American middle class. It is a travesty on America.

      • varg_vikernes

        Have you ever gone to the websites of Tata, Infosys etc… and looked for the programming job ads? You will not see any at all. Even though they fill tens of thousands of jobs each year, they do not even let US citizens apply. Then there is always the fact that these consulting H1Bs do not count for Microsoft /IBM employees even though they work there. This helps them to skew the numbers and make it look like its not so bad.

    • Indian_H1B

      Yep, I certainly have never been judged in the same ‘manor’. I would get thrown out “this house” for shabby grammar.