By Jackie Nelson
We all make mistakes, and I made one last week in my May 22 column in which I talked about H-1Bs.
There are two H-1B programs, a federal program, which is for foreign workers, and a Kansas state H-1B program for local workers.
I did not know a state H-1B program existed – which is where the problem started.
The state H-1B program is a grant which can be used by employers for on-the-job training to support the hiring of new engineers.
Applicants for this grant must be able to work in the U.S. without a visa, according to Tucky Allen Business Service Director/Rapid Response Coordinator at WorkforceONE.
The individuals eligible for training funded by the grant can be both recent graduates not currently employed in the field and other dislocated or unemployed engineers who meet educational prerequisites but may lack the specialized skills and experience necessary for a particular engineering job opportunity. Employers have the potential to receive up to $25,000 per individual based upon the number of hours each individual participates in training.
Use of this funding is intended to reduce the number of H-1B visa hires and to create greater opportunities for Kansans and other eligible participants. Fees charged to employers hiring foreign workers under the federal H-1B visa program serve as the basis of this grant’s funding, according to documentation provided by the Harvey County Economic Development Council (HCEDC)
This Kansas state H-1B is the source of the $100,000 for H-1Bs for AGCO and $175,000 for Excel.
I apologize for the confusion on which program the HCEDC was involved with and strive to print information as best we can. We are always happy to correct the record.