NEW Analysis: The U.S. Semiconductor Industry Needs U.S.-Educated International Students To Secure America’s Global Leadership

WASHINGTON, DC – today published a new report underscoring how the success of historic public and private investments in the U.S. semiconductor industry will rely on a strong workforce powered by smart immigration policy.

Entitled “The U.S. Semiconductor Industry Needs Skilled Workers for Thousands of Open Jobs,” the report finds that 5,000 international students will graduate in semiconductor-related computer science and engineering fields this academic year. At least 4,000 of these graduates would like to stay and work in the U.S. after graduation, but our antiquated immigration system currently lacks any legal pathways to retain international graduates of U.S. colleges and universities.

“We are publishing today’s report not only to hold up the mirror to our commitment to modernizing our immigration system, but to issue a call to action. If we are serious about investing in our economic future and the jobs of tomorrow, we need to give U.S.-educated international graduates viable options to stay here so they can apply their world class U.S. education back into U.S. fields,” said Todd Schulte, President. “Congress must establish direct pathways for STEM experts to stay and work in the U.S. if we want to solidify the U.S.’ leadership in cutting-edge fields, and create more jobs for U.S. citizens. Meanwhile, the Biden administration should take immediate steps to better leverage existing immigration processes so that companies can hire STEM experts needed right now in our nation’s revitalized semiconductor industry.”

Recognizing the global competition for the industries of the future, Congress has made significant investments in recent years to the tune of $50 billion in federal funding for domestic semiconductor manufacturing, with companies dedicating more than $215 billion of private sector investments for new and expanded facilities and operations. However, the success of these historic investments will depend in large part on having a qualified workforce.

Recent research from the Semiconductor Industry Association discovered that tens of thousands of semiconductor jobs in the U.S. risk going unfilled by 2030, including more than 18,000 engineering positions requiring advanced STEM degrees — a huge potential threat to innovation and national security. Today’s report proves that international graduates must be part of the solution. In fact, the report discovered a large portion of those scheduled to graduate this year are already living in regions in desperate need for workers in newly announced semiconductor projects.

“The U.S. is the world’s leading higher education superpower, home to the best universities and turning out the most innovation and research. We should not be educating and training the world’s STEM experts, and then forcing them away to compete against us,” concluded Schulte.

Read the full report: The U.S. Semiconductor Industry Needs Skilled Workers for Thousands of Open Jobs.

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