The president of AT&T, the telephone giant that was SBC… was Cingular… was SNET… was speaking a few days ago, and he was upset.
As Reuters reported:
So far, only around 1,400 jobs have been returned to the United States of 5,000, a target it set in 2006, the company said, adding that it maintains the target.
Pardon me for being a little skeptical, but I am. I’m not denying it’s tough to find educated people, and I’ll get to that in a moment, but Mr. Stephenson leaves out an important part of the equation.
Isn’t this what he meant to say: “We’re having trouble finding the numbers that we need with the skills that are required to do these jobs at the salary we’re willing to pay.?
That’s a question asked yearly when H-1B visas are debated. H-1B is the ‘permission’ required by high tech companies to bring in foreign workers to perform highly skilled jobs.
Bill Gates was talking about this last week and is quoted on SearchCIO-Midmarket.com.
The thing is, opponents of H-1B visas say, Microsoft and other companies aren’t paying “high-skilled” worker wages. H-1B rules do require that workers are paid the prevailing wage for their job.
Matloff said H-1B workers in the IT industry are “almost always programming of some sorts.”
“It could be a programmer, it could be a software engineer, it could be a system analyst,” Matloff said.
But Matloff and other H-1B critics contend there is no shortage of American workers for those jobs. H-1B workers, they say, just come cheaper and younger.
Quite honestly, is this any different than the complaints raised by farmers, looking to bring in migrant workers? They always say there aren’t enough US workers for these jobs. But is agricultural work more difficult or distasteful than construction or pumping septic systems. People do those jobs, even under difficult conditions.
Is the question finding workers or finding workers at what they’re willing to pay? Is that the fault of the business or the worker? Should American businesses pit Americans against foreigners when it comes to wages?
Back to what AT&T’s Stephenson and Bill Gates said about the state of American education. I couldn’t agree more.
Our high schools and colleges have become more like trade schools than institutions of higher learning. Where is the broad foundation which used to make up a high school or college education?
We live in an era where creative thought is required for more and more jobs. But is that creative thought being nurtured? Are we really well served by our education system?