Patrick Thibodeau

About the Author Patrick Thibodeau


Renewed effort begins to save California university’s IT jobs

At least 10 U.S. lawmakers have written University of California officials about their plan to move IT jobs offshore. It has been called it “ill-advised” and “dangerous,” and some have demanded its reversal. But the letters have had no apparent impact, and employees are slated to be laid off Feb. 28.

The next step in the fight is legislation.

California Assembly member Kevin McCarty, (D-Sacramento), introduced a bill (AB 848) Thursday in the state legislature that’s backed by university unions. It would require the University of California and California State University to certify that any contracted work “will be performed solely with workers within the United States.”

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

White House H-1B plan puts U.S. workers in front

A top White House adviser Sunday outlined two key principles underlying the administration’s approach to H-1B reform. It wants a system requiring employers to first consider U.S. workers for a job before hiring visa-holding workers, and it intends to distribute H-1B visas under a “merit-based” system.

Stephen Miller, senior policy adviser for President Donald Trump, said the administration will seek an immigration program where “American workers are given jobs first.”

In a television interview Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press, Miller also said that Trump “has made clear” his interest in creating “a merit-based system where individuals coming into the country bring the kinds of benefits economically that will grow our economy and help lift up wages for everybody.” (You can find the transcript here.)

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

Trump immigration ban means a war with tech

The decision by President Donald Trump to impose a broad immigration ban on seven countries may have an impact he didn’t foresee.

The ban, a 90-day moratorium on admissions and re-entry in the United States unveiled on Friday, isn’t about H-1B visa-holders specifically. And it doesn’t grow out of the his voiced concerns about the use of that visa to displace U.S. workers. Instead it affects tourists, business and student visas. Those with permanent residency, or green cards, are also affected.

Trump’s ban, issued through an executive order, affects all visa types in seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The action is ostensibly intended as an anti-terrorism measure. It targets some, but not all, Muslim-majority countries; Saudi Arabia, for instance, is not on the list.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

Trump eyes an H-1B visa aimed at ‘best and brightest’

President Donald Trump is considering a new way of distributing the H-1B visa to ensure they go to the “best and brightest.”

The phrase “best and the brightest” has long been used by tech industry groups to champion the H-1B program. It’s greeted with derision by critics, who say the program’s mostly entry-level workers are used to displace U.S. workers.

But some critics of the visa, a group that now includes top officials in the Trump administration, are adopting the phrase to advance the idea of a priority-based H-1B distribution system.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

China reminds Trump that supercomputing is a race

China intends to develop a prototype of an exascale supercomputer by the end of 2017, tweaking an exascale delivery date that’s already well ahead of the U.S. The timing of the announcement, reported by an official government news service, raised the possibility it was a message to President-elect Donald Trump.

China’s announcement comes the same week Trump takes office. The Trump administration is bringing a lot of uncertainty to supercomputing research, which is heavily dependent on government funding.

“The exascale race is also a publicity and mindshare race,” said Steve Conway, a high-performance computing analyst at IDC. “The Chinese are putting a stake in the ground and saying we’re going to have a prototype computer soon, maybe a year or so sooner than people expected,” he said.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

New Senate bill seeks sweeping H-1B changes

A new bill in Congress would give foreign students who graduate from U.S. schools priority in getting an H-1B visa.

The legislation also “explicitly prohibits” the replacement of American workers by visa holders.

This bill, the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act, was announced Thursday by its co-sponsors, U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), longtime allies on H-1B reform. Grassley is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which gives this bill an immediate big leg up in the legislative process.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

Trump turns to H-1B advocates for advice

In his campaign for president, Donald Trump tapped into the viral anger over H-1B use. The outsourcing of high-skill jobs is a “tremendous threat,” he said. Disney workers who trained visa-holding replacements spoke at some of his rallies.

But soon after the election, President-elect Trump assembled a 16-member team of CEO-level executives to advise him on job creation, including many from firms that send jobs overseas and have advocated for an H-1B cap increase.

Trump’s appointments included one of the pioneers of offshore outsourcing to India: Jack Welch, the former chairman and CEO of General Electric. Also on this committee is Bob Iger, the chairman and CEO of Disney, whose offshoring of Disney IT workers was a topic at a Republican presidential candidate debate.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments

Repealing Obamacare could hurt the gig economy

If the Affordable Care Act is repealed without a replacement healthcare plan, the Congressional Budget Office warned Tuesday that some 18 million people will lose their insurance in the first year—and millions more will lose insurance later on.

That number includes some of the independent, or gig, workers who use Fiverr’s job marketplace.

Fiverr is part of the gig economy, which is another way of describing freelance, independent or contract workers enabled by applications and online platforms. It has about two million buyers and sellers worldwide, about half of whom are in the U.S. People use the platform to provide and to buy a range of digital services that include programming, development, graphics design, animation and video work.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Read more 0 Comments