This week, in the city of brotherly love, CFGI joined SHRM at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) to continue the two groups’ push to Create a 21st Century Workplace. The delegation to Philadelphia found many DNC attendees receptive to the message.
This week’s efforts were the latest by our two groups to advocate policies to keep America competitive in 2016 and beyond. We are working to ensure both parties know just how critical it is for U.S. employers and HR professionals to have the ability to recruit, hire, transfer and retain top talent from around the world.
As employers make critical investments in the U.S. worker pipeline, access to global talent – via immigration reform – is a critical tool, especially in the near term. According to a recent SHRM survey, 68 percent of HR professionals report having difficulty in recruiting full-time positions in the United States due to skills gap issues.
At the DNC this week, Third Way, a CFGI and SHRM strategic partner, hosted a timely skills gap panel, where SHRM president and CEO Hank Jackson wasted no time reminding attendees that five or six years ago the skills gap was just about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), but now it has grown to affect more fields. Hank stressed that it will take a combined effort from education, government and industry to create innovative solutions to solve the problem.
Panelists, including Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Microsoft’s Brad Smith and others, discussed their concerns around the skills gap and the continued need for employers to invest in workforce development and for the government to support those efforts.
Later in the week at a SHRM member event, CFGI heard directly from our members. University representatives recounted their struggle to recruit, hire and retain the faculty critical to achieving their institutions’ mission – to educate our future U.S. and foreign national student talent – talent employers are counting on to spur future innovations and create jobs here at home.
As we look ahead to 2017, CFGI and SHRM will continue to advocate for a competitive workplace that shares elements of the Democratic Party platform on immigration policies. With a nominee like Hillary Clinton, who promises to introduce an immigration reform bill in her first 100 days in office, we are hopeful some of CFGI’s and SHRM’s key immigration solutions would find support should she win. These solutions include providing employers with the modern tools to hire a legal workforce, additional green cards to reduce existing backlogs and a Trusted Employer program to provide system efficiencies.
We will keep an eye on the debate, including the policy plans of Republican nominee Donald Trump, to ensure you are aware of any critical updates to immigration efforts no matter what happens in November.