Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick wants to stop the brain drain underway in his state. Yesterday, he announced a comprehensive “Economic Development Package” that would make it easier for international students to stay put after graduation. Boston-based site Bostinno reports:
This new program will allow qualified international students currently in Massachusetts to stay here after graduation if they are starting or growing a business — something that is borderline impossible with the current H-1B visa program. The Mass Tech Collaborative will place these selected students, who are eligible for H-1B visas but unable to get one due to a federal cap, as EIRs [Entrepreneurs in Residence] at public and private institutions and will ensure that they continue to contribute to the Massachusetts economy. This program will instantly stop the “brain drain” that Massachusetts annually suffers when students leave after the school year ends.
The bay state—home to Harvard, Amherst and MIT, among others—boasts some of the most prestigious schools in the country, and attracts some of the brightest minds from around the world. Its tech industry is also thriving, rivaling that of New York City, and there’s plenty of demand for their talents.High-skilled immigrant labor, as many agree, is vital to the American economy. One of its greatest strengths is its innovative entrepreneurs, whether they come from St. Louis or Sri Lanka. But pesky H-1B visa restrictions keep many throughout the country from staying here long enough to turn a good idea into a capitalized business. Governor Patrick’s plan is a good step toward counteracting them.