Jul 18

Past Event

Geography of H-1B Workers

Event Materials




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This year, it took only ten weeks for employers to reach the nation’s overall cap on the H-1B visas they need to hire immigrant workers in specialty occupations—three times faster than last year. Yet debates over the program suffer from a lack of information about where demand for H-1B workers is highest, and the role that the program plays in addressing local labor market needs.

On July 18, the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings hosted a forum presenting a regional analysis of the H-1B visa program, highlighting how foreign-born skilled immigrants in the United States contribute to the country’s metropolitan economies. Panelists from the public and private sectors discussed the report’s findings and their potential impact on current economic and immigration debates.

After each discussion, panelists took audience questions. Participants joined in the discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #metroH1B.

Following this event, Brookings's Jill Wilson answered questions on the H-1B visa program in a live POLITICO web chat.

Neil Ruiz's event presentation and remarks are available. In addition, in a video previewing this event, he describes the demand for skilled labor.

Event Agenda

  • Welcoming Remarks

  • Framing: Next Global Economy and Skills

  • Presentation

    • Neil G. Ruiz

      Senior Policy Analyst and Associate Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program

      The Brookings Institution

  • National Respondents

    • Moderator

      Edward Schumacher-Matos



    • Jared Bernstein

      Senior Fellow

      Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

    • Vivek Wadhwa

      Vice President of Academics and Innovation

      Singularity University

  • Regional Panel Discussion

    • Moderator

      Portrait: Amy Liu

      Amy Liu

      Co-Director and Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program

    • Lelia Crawford

      Director of International Students and Scholars

      Emory University

    • Bill Kamela

      Senior Director of Education and Workforce

      Microsoft Corporation

    • Keith Lawing

      Executive Director

      The Workforce Alliance of South Central Kansas Incorporated

    • Sean Randolph

      President and CEO

      Bay Area Economic Institute

  • Closing


July 18, 2012

9:00 AM - 12:30 PM EDT

Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.


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