Legislative Information for the IT & Engineering Staffing Industry IT & Engineering Staffing and Solutions Firms Should Continue to have Access to the H-1B Visa Program on the Same Basis as Companies in other Industries U.S. IT staffing firms should continue to have access to the H-1B visa program on the same basis as companies in other industries. While TechServe Alliance supports legislative efforts to amend the H-1B or other visa programs to permit access to a sufficient number of IT and engineering professionals to meet America’s technology requirements, any such legislation should not bar visa access to U.S.-based IT & engineering staffing and solutions companies. Clarification of the Computer Professional Exemption As America's technology industry has grown at an extremely fast pace in the last decade, there are literally hundreds of new IT professionals including a substantial increase in Internet and World Wide Web occupations. As a result, it is important to resolve any doubt about whether these positions come within the "computer professional" exemption from overtime wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Consequently, TechServe Alliance strongly supports the effort to update and clarify that the "computer professional" exemption is applicable to IT and engineering project consultants. Unduly Burdensome Regulations and Government Mandates Should Not Be Imposed on U.S. IT & Engineering Staffing and Solutions Companies As U.S. IT & engineering staffing and solutions firms deliver services to their clients, they create a significant number of highly skilled, highly paid jobs in the United States. While welcoming the opportunity to compete on a level playing field, we urge lawmakers to refrain from imposing unduly burdensome regulations and government mandates that would place the industry at a competitive disadvantage and put U.S. jobs at risk. In that regard, TechServe Alliance opposes any effort to restrict the right of IT and engineering professionals to provide their services in any lawful manner, including work as independent contractors. Further, while TechServe Alliance supports market-based solutions to address issues such as escalating health insurance costs, we oppose government mandates that would materially increase the cost of doing business. Increased Educational and Training Opportunities in IT & Engineering for U.S. Workers As has been well-documented, over the long haul the U.S. faces a shortage of highly skilled technology professionals. TechServe Alliance supports public policy initiatives that seek to increase the availability and attractiveness of education and training for U.S. workers in high-tech fields. In addition to the importance of these efforts to the U.S. economy as a whole, a qualified workforce able to meet current and future IT and engineering needs is critical to the continued success of the IT & engineering staffing industry.