The recent population growth in the Buffalo Niagara region has largely been the result of immigrants and refugees. Tapping into the skills this population brings with them will help address our region’s growing workforce development struggles. That is why the Buffalo Niagara Partnership prioritized creating a state professional licensing program for immigrants and refugees as part of our 2018 Advocacy Agenda.
We know the critical role that immigrants and refugees play in Buffalo Niagara’s workforce and economy.
For instance, last month, I blogged about the importance of easing the H1B Visa Cap as part of a sound, economic development strategy that focuses on the contributions of the foreign-born.
Every April, the federal government begins accepting applications for H-1B visas, which allow highly educated and skilled professionals to work temporarily in the United States.
Again this year, just days after filing opened, the annual cap of 85,000 was reached. Last year, more than 172,000 applications were received in less than a week.
Cities around the country have begun to effectively support the impact of immigrants and refugees on their employers, economy and community.
For instance, did you know that for every seven international students enrolled in the U.S., three jobs are created or supported? Or that immigrants created 25 percent of all high-tech national firms from 1995 to 2005?