IEEE News


CONTENTS

How to Subscribe/Unsubscribe to/from IEEE Mailing Lists

The 2000 National Engineering Week(NEW) Observance

Southcon 2000

Report of Professional Activities Operating Committee

Employment-Based Admissions Reform (H-1B Visas)

 

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How to Subscribe/Unsubscribe to/from IEEE Mailing Lists

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The 2000 National Engineering Week(NEW) Observance
 
Now, there remain just four(4) weeks until the 2000 National Engineering
Week(NEW) observance. I'm encouraging all our PACE representatives to
take a more active role in promoting a greater participation of engineers
in local elementary and secondary school systems. Over the past week, I
have received several proposals from our fellow Region 3 PACE members
outling their plans for local Section active participation in NEW. Remember,
your efforts DO encourage the brightest students to become engineers.
 
By the way, can anyone send me an example from their State's WEB Page of
NEW participation and proclamation similar to the following example from the
State of Florida:
 
***********************************************************************************
Governor Bush Proclaims Feb. 20-27 Engineer's Week in Florida.
***********************************************************************************
 
A copy of the proclamation is available at
http://www.fleng.org/whatsnew.htm. A hard copy can be
obtained from Win Bolton at win@fleng.org.
 
If you would like more information about National Engineers Week
programs, access the web site at http://www.eweek.org. For
further information, call Kelly Cunningham at 703-548-1291. She can
offer suggestions for starting up new programs or provide you with
the names of individuals already active in your local area.
***********************************************************************************
Also, check out the National Engineers Week Fact Sheet at:
http://www.eweek.org/1999/news/Eweek/facts.htm
Looking forward to a joyous 2000 NEW celebration!!
Respectfully,
Carl L. Hussey, P.E.
Professional Activities Operations(PAO) Committee Vice Chairman(1999)
Region 3 of the IEEE(Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers)
 
 
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Southcon 2000
 
Southcon 2000 will be held May 23, 24,25, 2000 at the EXPO Center in Orlando.
 
The goal is to have 240 booths on the floor and in excess of 7,000 attendees.
Per contractor's representative, Tom Klote, as of January 27 there were 112
booths sold. There have been 50 preregistrations. We currently have 25
technical sessions scheduled and 8 sessions for the Purchasing
conference.
 
Region assistance is needed to sell booths and to PROMOTE attendees. The
entities within the region are requested to make their news letters available
to carry promotional information for Southcon. Please contact Tom. Klote at
t.klote@ieee.org or phone him at 407 226 2319.
 
  
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Report of Professional Activities Operating Committee
 
Our PAOC and the PACE representatives are planning an active year.
 
George McClure has presented each of us with a wonderful list of projects for our PACE members to help our members. As the first quarter of the year progresses, our PACE organization will invite sections and student branches to engage in one or more of these worthy projects.
 
Vernon Powers plans to take the resume project through the alpha and beta stages in 2000, then make the product available to all members that need the service. Vernon is always looking for good volunteers to move this project to completion. Please step up for an assignment.
 
Last year numerous section and area PACE representatives prepared two important lists: the entity’s accomplishments for the past year and the plans for the coming year. Now is the time for each of us to complete these plans. The exercise of looking back and forward at our entities strengthens our programs and the members we serve.
 
Carl Hussey has contacted PACE representatives to encourage a greater Engineer’s Day participation of engineers in local elementary and secondary school systems. Your efforts may encourage brightest students to become engineers. Carl is also looking into this year’s Faraday Project.
 
As you will note from Dick Riddles’s Director’s Report, future years’ funding for PACE activities is under major discussion at the Board level. Please present your thoughts to Board members that are known to you. Dick, Dale Caston, and your PAOC will continue to seek your input and encouragement at the upper levels of IEEE.
 
The PAOC would like to express its gratitude to Guy Meador for his hard work on the Awards Committee for the past two years. Guy has decided to take some time away from this project; after Guy catches his breath, I welcome any committee to invite him to the table as an active member. Good Luck, Guy.
 
Respectfully,
Don Hill, Chair
 
 
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Employment-Based Admissions Reform (H-1B Visas)
 
IEEE-USA Issue Brief 106th Congress
Professional Careers Issues 1999 -2000
 
Issue: Employment-Based Admissions Reform (H-1B Visas)
 
Legislative History
 
In 1990, in response to widespread claims that the nation faced serious shortages of engineers and scientists, Congress authorized substantial increases in employment-based immigration. The Immigration Act of 1990 raised permanent, employment-based admissions ceilings from 54,000 to 140,000 a year; created new, non-immigrant admissions programs (including the H-1B visa program) for skilled professionals; and streamlined administrative procedures governing the admission of foreign nationals to work in the United States on temporary visas.
 
Congress responded to claims by employers that they faced serious shortages of information technology workers by enacting the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998. The new law: authorized a 3 year increase in H-1B admissions from 65,000 to 115,000 in 1999 and 2000 and to 107,500 in 2001; established a new $500 H-1B visa application fee to fund scholarships and retraining programs; and imposed new worker safeguards requirements designed to ensure that “H-1B dependent” employers will recruit U.S. workers and will not lay off Americans before hiring foreign workers.
 
 
IEEE-USA Policy Initiatives in the 105th Congress (1997-1998)
 
IEEE-USA opposed enactment of ACWIA based on our conviction that employers’ worker shortage claims were seriously overstated and that the new worker safeguards should apply to all employers who hire H-1B workers, not just to a handful of “H-1B dependent” businesses.
 
It has long been IEEE-USA’s position that employment-based admissions reforms should strike a reasonable balance between employers’ needs for easier access to skills that may be in short supply and the public need to safeguard educational and job opportunities for citizens, legal permanent residents and foreign nationals who have been legally admitted to study or work in the United States.
 
Legislative Developments in the 106th Congress
 
Almost as soon as the new H-1B visa limits took effect, employers in business and at educational institutions issued renewed claims that the nation faces IT worker shortages of crisis proportions and began pressing Congress for another increase in temporary admissions ceilings.
 
In 1999, in response to these appeals - and promises of generous financial contributions to their election and re-election campaigns - legislators from Texas, California, Virginia and Arizona introduced bills providing for additional increases in the admission of foreign IT workers.
 
These bills include:
 
The New Workers for Economic Growth Act (S. 1440), introduced by Senator Phil Gram
(R-TX), will raise H-1B admissions ceilings to 200,000 a year in 2000, 2001 and 2002. The bill will also exclude foreign professionals with master’s degrees earning at least $60,000 a year and foreign professionals who work for U.S. educational institutions from the new caps.
 
The BRAIN Act (H.R. 2687), sponsored by Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), will enable
foreign students who earn bachelor’s or higher degrees in engineering, mathematics and the sciences from U.S. colleges and universities (and receive job offers exceeding $60,000 a year) to stay and work in the United States for up to five years on new T visas.
 
Senator Chuck Robb (D-VA)’s new HITEC Act (S.1645) will also allow foreign students with degrees from U.S. educational institutions (Master’s or Ph.D degrees) to remain in the United States for periods of up to five years on T visas when they complete their studies.
 
The 21st Century Technology Resources and Commercial Leadership Act (S. 1804), introduced by Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain (R-AZ) will establish a new educational grants program to improve math, science, engineering and technology competencies in the United States. Senator McCain’s bill will also abolish all limits on H-1B visas.
 
Senators Orin Hatch (R-UT) and Spencer Abraham (R-MI) intend to introduce another
H-1B Visa proposal when Congress reconvenes in January. The Hatch/Abraham proposal will authorize another 40,000 to 50,000 increase in temporary H-1B admissions in 2000 and 2001; exempt foreign employees of U.S. educational and research institutions from the H-1B caps; and eliminate current per country limits on permanent immigration to the United States
 
 
How You Can Help
 
In 1999, IEEE-USA and 26 other national engineering societies said that it is premature to consider increasing current limits on temporary, employment-based admissions until the National Research Council completes and Congress has an opportunity to assess the results of studies mandated in the 1998 H-1B legislation. The purpose of the NRC studies is to examine information technology and the treatment of older workers in by high tech companies.
 
IEEE-USA members who are concerned about the need for another increase in temporary, employment-based admissions should communicate those concerns to their Senators and Representatives in Washington.
 
 
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Updated 01/29/2000