Asserting that the US has a large skills gap, ITServe Alliance, the largest association of IT Services organizations, has urged lawmakers to support a bill introduced by Indian American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi to strengthen US competitiveness.
â€œThe US needs to maintain its leadership in technology and innovation,â€ said Vinay Mahajan, President of ITServe, at the first-ever in-person Capitol Hill Day organized by ITServe Alliance in Washington, DC on July 19.
READ: Raja Krishnamoorthi introduces bill to double H-1B intake (July 19, 2023)
â€œThe startup Eco System needs to be supercharged. One critical component of both is high-skilled workers,â€ he said at the event attended by over 180 lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, according to a media release.
â€œThe US has a large skills gap – availability of workers vs the openings for talent in IT,â€ Mahajan said. â€œWe need the brightest minds from all over the world to keep our wide lead in technology and innovation.â€
ITServe Alliance also expressed its overwhelming support and urged the lawmakers, among other initiatives, to support HR 4647, the â€œHigh-Skilled Immigration Reform for Employment (HIRE) Act,â€ introduced by Krishnamoorthi on July 14.
The bill aims to strengthen US competitiveness by helping to close the skills gap â€“ the space between the skills required for jobs that employers need to fill, and the skills possessed by current prospective employees.
As introduced, the bill would raise the current H-1B limit from 65,000 to 130,000, remove the H-1B cap for those with a Masterâ€™s Degree or PhD and create a STEM grant program.
â€œWe had overwhelming support from the nearly 180 key US Representatives and Senators, including influential committee chairs and members from both the Democrat and Republican Parties for the causes put forth by ITServe,â€ said Siva Moopanar, Director of ITServe Alliance Policy Advocacy Committee (PAC).
The day-long event on Capitol Hill was attended by over 240 ITServe members from across the nation. It featured meetings and interactive sessions with key members of Congress. A Congressional Reception was held on July 18.
Stressing the importance of ITServe and the Legislative Day, Mahajan said, â€œITServe Allianceâ€™s Capitol Hill Day has effectively served as a powerful platform in educating policymakers on the issues that are important to our members and the business community, ensuring that our needs and views are reflected in policy debates and outcomes on Capitol Hill.â€
â€œITServe Alliance has been consistently working to protect the needs of its members,â€ said Sateesh R. Nagilla, Connected PAC Board Chair. â€œTo that end, ITServe Alliance has been lobbying with the lawmakers on behalf of its members on Capitol Hill and with the US Administration.â€
â€œH-1B visa holders play a crucial role in bolstering the US economy, fostering innovation, and enriching the fabric of American society through their skills, contributions, and diverse backgrounds,â€ said Sarit Kommineni, Co-Chair â€“ PAC.
â€œThey bring diverse perspectives and knowledge to American workplaces, facilitating knowledge transfer and skills development by engaging in research and development activities, particularly in STEM fields, which contributes to scientific advancements and technological progress.â€
According to Jagadeesh Mosali, President-Elect of ITServe, â€œA major objective of the Capitol Hill Day was to showcase to the lawmakers some of the significant contributions of the ITServe members to the country’s economy through Technology & Innovation, local employment, and STEM education.
The event also addressed key concerns faced by small businesses, including the need for high-skilled immigration reforms, he said.
Founded in 2010, ITServe has an active membership of 2,100 + members, 20 Chapters established across 23 states.
Together, the ITServe members have more than 175,000 IT professionals employed throughout the US, generating over $12 billion in revenue annually.