American companies can compete and win in a worldwide economy with well-educated and well-trained workers. The Chamber believes that the best foundation for a competitive economy starts with an education and training system that gives workers the skills they need for the jobs of the 21st Century.
We endorse the following fundamental components:
- Changes to the way that educators are trained, paid and evaluated. Pay for performance and incentive pay should be the rule.
- The bureaucratic culture that stifles learning in too many public schools should be improved upon with a spirit of innovation through programs such as expanded learning time, early enrollment in high school settings for college-level courses, online learning programs, and increase alternative educational environments, i.e., charter schools.
- Lifetime learning and training of American workers will ensure a productive and successful workforce.
- Legislation that promises to double the number of graduating scientists and engineers within 10 years.
In addition America must have a comprehensive, rational, and balanced immigration policy that secures the borders, while welcoming legal immigrants who want to work towards the American dream and realistically addresses the undocumented workers already in the United States.
The Chamber supports the continued push for comprehensive national immigration reform that:
- increases security;
- has an earned pathway to legalization for undocumented workers already contributing to our economy, provided that they are law-abiding and prepared to embrace the obligations and values of our society; and
- creates a carefully monitored guest or essential worker programs to fill the growing gaps in America's workforce recognizing that, in some cases, permanent immigrants will be needed to fill these gaps; and refrains from unduly burdening employers with worker verification systems that are underfunded or unworkable.
The Chamber supports the continuity and expansion of H-1B, L-1, and EB visas for professionals and highly valued workers.
The Chamber supports reform measures that will reform the current system to enable seasonal and small businesses to continue to use the H-2B temporary visa.
The Chamber urges Congress and the administration to address delays, backlogs, and disruptions in our immigration and border management systems that impede the movement of legitimate cargo and travelers across U.S. borders.
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