At the April SOUTHEASTCON in Columbia, SC, twenty-two section
PACE leaders or other officers participated in two days of PACE
orientation and training that concluded with a presentation on
member benefits from the Financial Advantage Program staff.
A presentation for sections will be given at Sections Congress
2002 on the need and motivation for continuing education for
engineers, with tips on how to organization education programs.
Speakers will be George McClure and John Meredith. Another
session will discuss the IEEE Code of Ethics and lessons learned
from recent corporate examples of "pushing the envelope".
Speakers will include Prof. Charles Turner, chair of the Ethics
& Member Conduct Committee, Wally Read, past chair of the
Ethics Committee, and George McClure, past chair of the Member
Focus now is on the unemployment problem. A survey was
completed in August of IEEE unemployed members. The complete
results will be posted on the IEEE-USA Web site. There were 758
responses to the survey. Over half had been involuntarily
unemployed. Of those who had gotten new positions, the mean
duration of unemployment was 49 weeks, with half reporting 38
weeks or less. Since unemployment insurance runs out at 39 weeks
(26 weeks for the state benefit and 13 weeks federal), this means
that about half the unemployed members had exhausted their
unemployment benefits and were in danger of missing mortgage
payments. The current rate of mortgage foreclosures is the
highest ever recorded. During April, May and June, 1.23% of
mortgages about 640,000 were in the foreclosure
process. That's the highest rate in its 30 years of tracking,
according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. A year earlier,
not even 1% of mortgages were in foreclosure.
Members are encouraged to participate in the IEEE-USA
grass-roots campaign, writing their congresspeople about their
concerns with unemployment and its effect on our citizens and
country. See http://www.capwiz.com/ieeeusa/home/
Another issue is the refusal last week of the House of
Representatives to consider extending the Education Savings
Accounts authorization, at $2,000 per year tax-free, past its
expiration in 2010. A corollary is the end of the tax-free status
for reimbursement by employers of graduate education
The Executive Committee of the Orlando Section has approved a
resolution on the issue of limiting guest workers under the H-1B
program when the current elevated quota cap expires next year. A
variation of this resolution will be circulated to all U.S.
sections for consideration and possible approval, after the
meeting of the IEEE-USA Career Policy Committee later this month.
There are currently almost 1.2 million H-1Bs in the U.S., drawing
cumulative annual salaries of $60 billion. In the states
represented in Region 3, there are 137,611 guest workers employed,
with three states having over 30,000 each: Virginia, Georgia, and
George F. McClure
George F. McClure
1730 Shiloh Lane
Winter Park, FL 32789
NOTICE TO PACE
Please share this alert with your local PACE network contacts
members, whether unemployed or employed, to speak out.
Encourage them to
use the IEEE-USA Legislative Action Center to send an email
their U.S. Representative and Senators, at:
IEEE-USA ACTION ALERT
ENGINEERS NEED TO SPEAK OUT TO
CONGRESS ON UNEMPLOYMENT PROBLEM
In the most recent quarter, the federal Bureau of Labor
reporting that there are over 180,000 unemployed engineers and
scientists in the United States. The unemployment rate for all
increased from 3.6 percent in the first quarter of 2002 to 4.0
the second quarter. The rate of unemployment for electrical
engineers (EEs) rose from 4.1 percent to 4.8, the highest
recorded for the U.S. EE profession. The rate for computer
which includes systems analysts, jumped from 4.8 to 5.3
trends run counter to the overall national unemployment rate,
from 5.9 to 5.4 percent during the same period.
In a June appeal to Congress, IEEE-USA President LeEarl Bryant
Congress to take note of the engineering unemployment problem
and to look
more closely into its causes. With Congress returning on
September 4 from
its August District Work Period, IEEE-USA needs IEEE U.S.
employed or unemployed, to help us follow-up on that appeal.
We need you to
tell your stories, to educate your U.S. Representative and
the nature of the problem, and the personal impacts, and to
urge them to
One important question you can ask -- why did the United
States provide new
H-1B visas to 147,600 guest workers at a time when 180,000+
U.S. engineers and computer scientists are unemployed?
Use the IEEE-USA Legislative Action Center to send a message