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L.A. Area Chamber Joins National Business Coalition in Support of Skilled Worker Immigration Reform

December 19, 2012 9:00 am

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce announced today its participation in “Business for Skilled Worker Immigration,” a coalition of 25 chambers of commerce from across the country working together to advance skilled worker immigration reform as a means of driving job creation, innovation and other economic growth.

The coalition will urge Congress to address this important talent issue as part of broader-based immigration reform expected to be taken up in the new Congressional session.

“We are supportive of this coalition's efforts because the time is right for meaningful reforms addressing this important talent issue as part of broader-based immigration reform,” said L.A. Area Chamber President & CEO Gary Toebben. “We must improve employers’ ability to access a deeper talent pool, encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, and attract and retain the best and the brightest talent to help maintain our competitive advantage.”

Business for Skilled Worker Immigration represents a strong cross-section of the nation’s business community, with broad geographic diversity among its members. With talent a key driver of the economy, coalition members seek to bring increased focus on the critical challenge of improving access to top international talent. Combined with current programs to strengthen domestic science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) training, the coalition believes its efforts can help improve long-term economic competitiveness.

The group will focus on three specific proposals designed to improve current skilled worker immigration policy:

  • Increasing the availability of temporary, skilled worker (H-1B) visas
  • Increasing the availability of permanent resident visas (green cards) for STEM graduates and workers
  • Creating new startup visas for immigrant entrepreneurs who launch businesses in the U.S. and meet certain employment and financing goals

The coalition plans to leverage the increased focus on broader-based immigration reform in Washington to advance immigration issues that are important to the business community. The Chambers who make up Business for Skilled Worker Immigration will engage in lobbying and advocacy efforts with members of Congress and the Administration; using communications activities to raise awareness among key business and government stakeholders, and the general public; and coordination of strategy to maximize the collective impact of efforts to advance skilled worker immigration reform.

A full list of coalition members is available on the coalition website page, along with additional information about Business for Skilled Worker Immigration.

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The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County.  Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit www.lachamber.com.

 


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