According to Lumina Foundation, Michigan is facing a talent shortage of over 900,000 workers with more than a high school degree by 2025. A failure to produce this number of educated workers will risk MI's ability to grow jobs and incomes as our businesses struggle to find talent. We cannot produce enough talent to meet projected needs by increasing in-state enrollments alone. To produce a dynamic and skilled labor force, and enable MI businesses to compete effectively in the global marketplace --we need immigration reform. The absence of an immigration reform policy has hurt our economy by making it harder for our companies to find the talent they need to grow and create more jobs right here in Michigan.
Michigan needs to welcome innovators, entrepreneurs and skilled workers from around the world. They can help our core industries continue to drive MI's comeback, and help our nation remain an economic superpower. Consider this: immigrants or the children of immigrants founded 40 percent of U.S. Fortune 500 companies. Across America, these companies employed about 560,000 workers and generated $63 billion in sales in 2012. The evidence is compelling that when we educate foreign students they want to stay and will create jobs here. But faced with a shortage of temporary high-skilled visas and six- to 10-year waits for employment-based green cards, foreign graduates of U.S. universities are taking their talents elsewhere. Our system today prevents many foreign-born scientists, engineers and other highly educated professionals from working in the United States.
Business Leaders for Michigan supports immigration reform: We believe that MI would benefit by welcoming those who would come here legally to work and contribute to our economy. You can help by letting your U.S. Representative and Senators Levin and Stabenow know that you support immigration reform.