TechNet and President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness Host Listening and Action Session

Aug 02, 2011, 17:08 ET from TechNet

Panel Discussion in Silicon Valley Focused on Ways to Create Jobs Through Strong Support of High Growth Businesses and Entrepreneurship

TechNet Also Applauded Administration's Announcement to Streamline Regulatory Burdens

To Enable Businesses to Hire More High Skilled Immigrants

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- TechNet, the bipartisan policy and political network of CEOs that promotes the growth of the innovation economy, today co-hosted an event with President Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness to discuss how the nation can spur job creation through entrepreneurship and innovation.  

The event featured Jobs Council Members: Revolution Founder and former AOL CEO Steve Case; Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers Partner and TechNet co-founder John Doerr; and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg. Participating business and policy leaders included: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings; U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra; VMware CTO Steve Herrod; and TechNet President and CEO Rey Ramsey. The session was held at VMware, Inc. in Palo Alto, CA. Chris Anderson, editor in chief of Wired magazine, moderated the discussion.

During the event, the Jobs Council members solicited feedback from Silicon Valley entrepreneurs about how the public and private sectors can partner to encourage innovation and create jobs. The discussion also focused on high-growth entrepreneurship businesses and opportunities, regulatory barriers to success, and the importance of innovation in strengthening the U.S. economy.

"Innovation and entrepreneurship are vital to growing jobs and strengthening the U.S. economy," said Rey Ramsey, President and CEO of TechNet. "A recent Kauffman Foundation study found that over the last 30 years, private sector job creation has been concentrated amongst young, high-growth companies. No matter what type of business, all of these companies were built on a foundation of innovation and entrepreneurship.

"Companies like VMware, Facebook and other prominent technology companies are proof that successful, high-growth companies are still possible in today's economy and will continue to play a key role in strengthening the American economy and creating jobs. With competition from emerging economies growing, we must work together to build an ecosystem that promotes greater access to capital, fewer regulatory burdens and nurtures innovation.

"Today's meeting was an opportunity to discuss the types of thoughtful public policies that can drive the creation of even more high-growth businesses and strengthen America's economy. We commend the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness for soliciting input from business leaders and placing a priority on identifying the opportunities and obstacles affecting business growth. The suggestions offered today will help the Council develop a policy blueprint to help drive economic growth and job creation and help the business community better understand the issues affecting the innovation economy," Ramsey said.

TechNet also applauded today's announcement by the Obama Administration that it will adopt additional administrative reforms to make existing high-skilled immigration reform programs more effective. As a part of the White House-led "Startup America" initiative, and informed by recommendations from the President's Jobs Council, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced a series of reforms that do not require legislation including a plan to revitalize the EB-2 National Interest Waiver Program. The U.S. Customs and Immigrations Service clarified the standard for entrepreneurs of "exceptional ability" and who qualifies for a national interest waiver (NIW).The clarification was issued to encourage more job-creating entrepreneurs to start companies in the U.S. by streamlining the application process for an EB-2 green card and allows entrepreneurs to petition for themselves for these green cards.  

The move is the latest administrative reform intended to help improve the broken immigration system. In May, DHS expanded the list of technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degree programs that immediately qualify eligible graduates on student visas for an Optional Practical Training (OPT) extension. By expanding the list of STEM degrees eligible for the OPT program, more highly-skilled foreign graduates will have an extra 17 months to remain in the U.S. to pursue work training in their field of study, beyond the initial 12 months available to all graduates. 

"Over the last 25 years, immigrants have started one in four U.S. venture-backed public companies. Immigrants are nearly 30 percent more likely to start a business in the U.S. than non-immigrants.  Just as in previous generations, immigrants continue to play a vital role in our nation's economic strength and job creation" added Ramsey. "We must not close our borders to such individuals. It's in the best tradition of our nation to welcome the ideas and minds from around the globe to make our economy stronger. Today's announcement is an important step in ensuring America continues to lead the world in the type of innovations that have made us the leader in today's global economy."

About TechNet:
TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of CEOs that promotes the growth of technology industries and the economy by building long-term relationships between technology leaders and policymakers and by advocating a targeted policy agenda. TechNet's members represent more than one million employees in the fields of information technology, biotechnology, e-commerce and finance. TechNet has offices in Washington, DC, Palo Alto, Sacramento, Seattle, Boston and Austin. Web address: You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @technetupdate.