A Rise in H-1B Visas, a Webinar on the Fate of Techies in the US, and the Case of the Shrinking Report


    On a day in which I read in ComputerWorld about the US Senate approving an increase to H-1B visas (up to 95,000 in 2006 from 65,000), I also learned about a Webinar that should prove interesting.

    Software Development magazine is hosting an interview between editor Alexandra Weber Morales and Dr. Ron Hira, vice president for career activities for IEEE-USA. Dr. Hira is a professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology, and a participant in the Council on Foreign Relations' Research Roundtable on Technology, Innovation and America's Primacy and the Council on Competitiveness' National Innovation Initiative. He’s also the author of the book Outsourcing America.

    Here’s how the Webinar was pitched in an SD newsletter:

    Here's a bit of news you probably haven't heard yet: In December 2003, Congress asked the Commerce Department to study the effects of offshore outsourcing IT service-sector jobs. The report was prepared, but delayed until after the presidential election, according to an October 12, 2005, article in Manufacturing and Technology News (MTN). Following MTN's March 2005 Freedom of Information Act request, in September they got a sneak peek at a 12-page version of the as yet unreleased report. According to the analysts assigned to the original task, "A Six-Month Assessment of Workforce Globalization in Certain Knowledge-Based Industries" is a shadow of its former self, rewritten by lobbyists. It's now a glowing essay about offshoring supported by data from U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies. And it only cost $335,000 — a mere $28,000 per page, according to MTN.

    The article that appears in MTN makes for pretty compelling reading. Why, oh, why, can’t we get unbiased information about the impact of offshoring on the American labor force?

    You can view the 12-page report here:


    You can view a presentation made by some of the original authors — pre-rewriting — here:


    You can register for that Webinar here: