MAINTAIN THE H-1B TECHNICAL SKILLS TRAINING GRANT PROGRAM

WHEREAS, the H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant Program was established in 1998 to address the shortage of skilled workers in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant Program-and administered by the Department of Labor-- has offered thousands of Americans the opportunity to learn and master the skills necessary to acquire jobs that will provide upward mobility and long-term job retention; and

WHEREAS, by providing grants to local governments, workforce boards and other entities across the country, the H-1B program has enabled cities in urban and rural areas to meet the needs of their business communities by providing more highly skilled workers; and

WHEREAS, the Bush Administration has proposed eliminating it and redirecting the funds in the FY2003 budget; and

WHEREAS, eliminating the H-1B program will do away with an important job training program that strengthens America's own workforce, and lessens dependency on foreign workers,

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Conference of Mayors opposes the Bush Administration's proposal to eliminate the H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant program; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Conference of Mayors opposes rescinding funds from the H-1B program in the FY2002 Supplemental Appropriations bill in an effort to offset the cost of increasing other programs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Conference of Mayors looks forward to the opportunity to work with the Bush Administration and Congress to make the necessary changes to strengthen the H-1B program.