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STEM Education & High-Skilled Immigration

September 29, 2012

This week Microsoft released a new proposal to address the shortage of high-tech workers. The plan seeks to increase investments in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education in the United States and increase nonimmigrant visas as well as green cards for high-skilled workers.

The proposal was introduced by Microsoft’s General Counsel and Executive Vice President, Brad Smith.

What we propose, what we’ve written about in the white paper that we’ve put out today, is in effect a two-part solution.  One part looks at investments the country needs to make in education and STEM education in particular to create new and better opportunities especially for the next generation of our panel.  And the second part involves overdue reforms in our high skill immigration arena.  But in part what we’re suggesting is that we use the second piece, immigration reform, to raise the money to help pay for the first piece, the education investments that the country so clearly needs.

GeekWire summarized the proposal.

The company says the plan could produce up to $500 million annually to help fund U.S. education in science, technology, education and math, while helping companies in the short run by letting them bring in more workers from overseas.

“Ultimately, we can’t expect to build the economy of the future with only the jobs of the past,” says Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, in a blog post. “We must prepare the next generation for the waves of technological innovation that are on the horizon in every field.”


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