WASHINGTON, May 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) Chief Technology Officer Gwenne Henricks urged Congress today to pass High Skilled Immigration Reform. Reforming our current system would enable companies to compete better in the global economy by recruiting top talent with an education in the "STEM" fields—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—from the United States and beyond.
"Our education system in the United States is currently not producing a robust pipeline of graduates in STEM-related fields to meet our workforce needs," said Henricks. "STEM job growth is expected to be higher than any other occupation over the next 10 years. Caterpillar is actively working to increase the supply of skilled STEM talent in the United States and around the world to fill the jobs we have and will need in the future," Henricks added.
Henricks also outlined the benefits for companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations, such as engineering and science, through H-1B visas. The current annual cap for H-1B visas given in the United States is set at 65,000 and was filled on April 1, 2013—the first day that companies such as Caterpillar could file new H-1B petitions for fiscal year 2014. Based on current law, Caterpillar and other companies will be unable to recruit and hire new H-1B employees again until October 1, 2014.
Caterpillar also supports granting green cards to foreign students who receive degrees in STEM fields from American universities and making them exempt from the annual cap. The company also advocates for lifting the per-country limit on green cards.
"At Caterpillar, we know our people are our greatest asset. We employ more than 10,000 engineers, technologists and scientists worldwide who are dedicated to developing technologies that reshape the process of using, managing and owning heavy equipment. Last year, we filed for nearly 1,100 patents and spent approximately $2.4 billion on research and development. We need a solution that will address these issues and help us grow a sustainable pipeline of highly skilled workers to meet our growing needs while preserving the environment for future generations through innovation and collaboration," said Henricks.
About Caterpillar: For more than 85 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. With 2012 sales and revenues of $65.875 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company also is a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services and Progress Rail Services. More information is available at: http://www.caterpillar.com.
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Caterpillar's actual results may differ materially from those described or implied in our forward-looking statements based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to: (i) global economic conditions and economic conditions in the industries and markets we serve; (ii) government monetary or fiscal policies and infrastructure spending; (iii) commodity or component price increases, fluctuations in demand for our products, or limited availability of raw materials and component products, including steel; (iv) our and our customers', dealers' and suppliers' ability to access and manage liquidity; (v) political and economic risks and instability, including national or international conflicts and civil unrest; (vi) our and Cat Financial's ability to: maintain credit ratings, avoid material increases in borrowing costs, and access capital markets; (vii) the financial condition and credit worthiness of Cat Financial's customers; (viii) changes in interest rates or market liquidity; (ix) changes in financial services regulation; (x) inability to realize expected benefits from acquisitions, including ERA Mining Machinery Limited, and divestitures, including the divestiture of the Bucyrus International, Inc. distribution business to our independent dealers; (xi) international trade and investment policies; (xii) market acceptance of our products and services; (xiii) changes in the competitive environment, including market share, pricing and geographic and product mix of sales; (xiv) successful implementation of capacity expansion projects, cost reduction initiatives and efficiency or productivity initiatives, including the Caterpillar Production System; (xv) inventory management decisions and sourcing practices of our dealers or original equipment manufacturers; (xvi) compliance with environmental laws and regulations; (xvii) alleged or actual violations of trade or anti-corruption laws and regulations; (xviii) additional tax expense or exposure; (xix) currency fluctuations; (xx) our or Cat Financial's compliance with financial covenants; (xxi) increased pension plan funding obligations; (xxii) union disputes or other labor matters; (xxiii) significant legal proceedings, claims, lawsuits or investigations; (xxiv) compliance requirements imposed if carbon emissions legislation and/or regulations are adopted; (xxv) changes in accounting standards; (xxvi) failure or breach of information technology security; (xxvii) adverse effects of natural disasters; and (xxviii) other factors described in more detail under "Item 1A. Risk Factors" in our Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 19, 2013 for the year ended December 31, 2012. This filing is available on our website at www.caterpillar.com/secfilings.
SOURCE Caterpillar Inc.