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The United States, long the beneficiary of talented immigrants, must act quickly to keep these valuable workers from leaving to pursue expanding opportunities in their home countries, according to an article in the Spring 2009 Issues in Science and Technology.
In “A Reverse Brain Drain”, Vivek Wadhwa of Duke University and Harvard Law School, writes that immigrant scientists and engineers, particularly from China and India, have played an increasingly critical role in recent years in creating innovative, new U.S. companies – and many new jobs.
The danger, Wadhwa says, is that the United States is taking this immigrant contribution for granted at a time when changes in the global economy are providing career alternatives for the most talented people.
In a related article, Ron Hira of the Rochester Institute of Technology explores the increasingly worrisome issue of the offshoring of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) jobs, which is reducing the prospects for U.S.-based STEM workers and dimming the appeal of STEM studies for young Americans.
In “U.S. Workers in a Global Market”, Hira argues that policymakers will need to learn more about these developments so that they can make the critical choices about how to nurture a sector that is a key to the nation's future economic health.