Are H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants Improving Employment and Earnings of American Workers?

Apr 24, 2013, 14:00 ET from Abt Associates

BETHESDA, Md., April 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Abt Associates has been awarded a $6.97 million contract by the U.S. Department of Labor to evaluate the impact of the H-1B Technical Skills Training Grants—grants which are designed to bolster the skills and employability of American workers for jobs often filled by highly educated, highly skilled foreign workers.

"Our evaluation will determine if the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL's) H-1B training grants result in higher levels of employment and earnings among U.S. workers, indicating that they can meet the skill requirements of U.S. employers and potentially decrease U.S. businesses' dependence on foreign workers here on H-1B visas," said Cindy Taylor, vice president and leader of the Income Security and Workforce Practice at Abt Associates.   

Taylor said that foreign workers have been important to U.S.-based businesses, especially high tech companies, since 1990 when Congress authorized the H-1B visa, allowing these workers employment with American companies in response to business claims that they couldn't find qualified Americans to fill certain jobs.

By boosting the skills of American workers, the H-1B Technical Skills Trainings Grants, funded with fees collected from H-1B visa applications, hope to better qualify Americans for positions currently held by foreigners.

The first training grants were first awarded to 36 public-private partnerships across the U.S. in 2011.  Additional grants were awarded in 2012.

In addition to assessing the impact of the H-1B training grants, the five-year evaluation by Abt will add to DOL's understanding of the factors that facilitate or impede effective implementation of these grants, Taylor added.  

About Abt Associates
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators.  The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in nearly 40 countries. 

SOURCE Abt Associates