Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the inSPIRE STEM USA?
inSPIRE STEM USA is a coalition of organizations, companies and leaders supportive of a short and longterm strategy to close today’s STEM job gap and strengthen the STEM education pipeline to ensure the United States remains globally competitive well into the future by producing more college graduates with engineering and computer science degrees. The acronym “inSPIRE” stands for “Supporting Productive Immigration Reform and Education.”
Q: What constitutes a STEM jobs crisis?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that STEM jobs are expected to grow by 17 percent from 2008 to 2018, while non-STEM jobs are expected to grow by 9.8 percent. Over time, today’s major challenge will grow more severe if we don’t improve the STEM pipeline.
In addition, the U.S. economy will create 120,000 jobs each year that will require a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Currently, however, our higher education system only produces 40,000 graduates with bachelor’s degrees in this field.
Q: What effect does the crisis have on the current job environment?
Many U.S. employers cannot find enough employees to fill thousands of high-skilled, high wage jobs, which include technology, advanced manufacturing, health care, energy, financial services and the automobile industry. Ensuring that there are enough workers to fill high-skilled vacancies will help the economy by fueling innovation and job growth.
Q: What is inSPIRE’s plan to address the problem and improve the STEM education pipeline?
In the long-term, we need a new national effort to recruit and train more STEM teachers who will help prepare more students for these fields in college. We also have to broaden access to computer science in high school and improve college completion rates in the U.S.
In the short-term, the U.S. should establish an increased allocation of H-1B STEM visas to meet employers’ hiring needs and generate revenue for new investments in the U.S. STEM pipeline. We must also work to recapture unused employment-based green card numbers to reduce the green card backlog and generate revenue for new investments in the U.S. STEM pipeline. The U.S. should also direct employers’ investments from these new, targeted immigration benefits to fund targeted initiatives that strengthen the U.S. STEM pipeline.
inSPIRE STEM USA’s plan is fully paid for. Funds paid by the employers hiring workers via the new STEM visa and green cards will be used to finance the long-term investments in national STEM education.
Q: Why do we need another STEM grant program?
Current programs simply are not meeting the need. And the U.S. needs a long-term solution to fill critical STEM jobs. Improving STEM education helps the U.S. meet this goal, and through this approach, the program is achieved without spending tax dollars.
With its sustainable funding stream, this is the only STEM proposal that links workforce development needs with our education pipeline.