MonolithIC 3D Inc., my latest company, has developed a breakthrough technology to enable practical monolithic 3D chips with the potential to extend Moore’s Law for the next two decades with significant benefits in power, speed, density and price. The U.S. Patent Office granted our chip research five patents, and more than thirty are still pending their approval.
Although I decided to start my company in the United States, many brilliant, foreign-born entrepreneurs and scientists do not, deterred by the broken American immigration system. Letting their ideas and the resulting job creation occur overseas is simply bad politics and bad economic policy. I hope my work with the Partnership for a New American Economy will turn around the mistaken conventional wisdom that immigrants take away jobs from Americans. In the eighties, I came to the U.S. on a high skilled worker visa and later created three active companies and tens of direct jobs and many indirect businesses and jobs. Today, the National Foundation for American Policy has found that each high skill H1-B visa creates five additional American jobs.
My story of an immigrant creating a successful high tech company in the United States is but one of many. The United States has a rich history of bright immigrants bringing ideas and a penchant for hard work. It’s time our immigration laws begin to embrace these talented engineers and scientists and leverage the fact that the US is an attractive place that many aspire to immigrate to. The future of our economy is highly dependent on the United States retaining its position as the world’s technology leader. Welcoming talented immigrants is our best way to keep it so.
And that is the key to our prosperity. Park City was founded in the late 1860s by prospectors and quickly became a hub for silver mining, which it remained through the 1970s. Immigrant labor in the mines and services was a key to early success. In 1963, the mining company had the foresight to set into motion a business venture that would become the city’s defining industry and lay the groundwork for the city’s economy in the next century—tourism. Since then, Park City has been known as one of the premier skiing destinations the world over. In fact, at any one point, the number of tourists exceeds the number of permanent residents by more than double, with more than 3 million average visitors every year.
Immigrants play a critical role in the Park City economy, providing a workforce for our superior resorts and multilingual hospitality staff to facilitate the international visitors that come from afar for our yearly Sundance Film Festival; immigrants also played key roles in our hosting of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.
We cannot remain on the sidelines when the U.S. continues to refuse to change broken immigration policies. In the spirit of the pioneers that founded Park City, we welcome hard-working and entrepreneurial people, and welcome the prosperity they bring with them. Park City stands with the Partnership for a New American Economy and calls on Washington to fix a broken system. Sensible immigration policies that include a realistic path to citizenship will help fuel the American economy and the American Dream for generations to come.
When most folks name cutting-edge technologies, rarely is “synthetic lawn manufacturing” on the tip of their tongue. At NewGrass, we seek to change that. We have surged past our competitors by developing the first eco-friendly, recyclable synthetic grass products on the market. Our market share has grown because we have recognized a global shift toward sustainable product lifecycle development—by introducing eco-friendly design to a product that our customers already seek for its resource-conserving advantages, we aim to become the leading brand in our industry.
Businesses like ours are successful because they adapt to shifts in our global economy, and we want America to have similar economic success. The fastest-developing countries in the world make sure their businesses can recruit the workers they need on a permanent and seasonal basis. So when certain jobs demand a highly specialized skill set or certain industries experience a temporary surge in labor demand, American immigration policies should respond in kind. Unfortunately, they don’t. And because we lack laws that recognize the unavoidable demand for migrant labor, we’ve developed an immigration system rife with undocumented labor and unchecked immigration. Our business and the American economy would benefit by an immigration system that responds to businesses’ labor needs.
I’ve joined the Partnership for a New American Economy because I want our country to capitalize on the realities in the global economy, not hide from them. If I can lead my business to greener pastures by harnessing these shifts, surely Congress can lead our country to a better economic future by doing the same.
Whether you are shopping for jewelry or appliances, electronics or clothes, a car or booking your next vacation spot, O.co (aka Overstock.com) is the online store that millions of consumers turn to for the highest quality goods at low prices. By focusing on providing online shoppers with the best value and a superior customer experience, our business has grown rapidly from a mere 18 employees at our inception in 1999. We would be unable to provide this service, however, without our highly-skilled staff. We now employ more than 1,600 people—from the designers and developers who keep our website functional and user-friendly, to the buyers who ensure that O.co continues to offer high-quality, brand-name merchandise at low prices, to the customer service representatives who keep our customers happy. Our ability to access and hire these talented employees, no matter where they were born, is essential to our success as a business and our ability to continue to create jobs in America.
That is why I support and signed onto the Utah Compact, a declaration of five principles that guide the immigration reform debate in Utah. It is also why I have joined and support the Partnership for a New American Economy, a group that is rightly focusing on the imperative economic need for streamlining our national immigration system. Allowing bright and hard-working people from around the world to come here to work allows companies like ours to prosper and grow, which in turn generates a wealth of new jobs, opportunities and profits here at home.
From sustainable buildings and electric vehicles to smartphones and smarter kitchens, Autodesk customers are changing the way we all live and play, and redefining the way we do business. Working across virtually every industry—from architecture, manufacturing, transportation, and utilities to telecommunications, video games, television, and film—over 10 million professionals in 185 countries use our software to solve some of the world’s most complex problems. Whether it’s a business issue like how to get a car to market faster, or a global challenge, such as harnessing the power of ocean currents, our customers are designing what’s next.
As a leader in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software, we’re committed to helping people imagine, design, and create a better world. Innovation is at the very heart of that commitment, fueling what we do for our customers, and what our customers do for the rest of the world. Our ability to innovate and in turn enable innovation in others depends on a supply of talented engineers, designers, and digital artists who are passionate about the challenges that drive us.
Many of these talented individuals are foreign-born students who all too often are forced to leave the United States once they graduate from our universities. By sending them home, we ensure that our country will never benefit from the depth of their imagination or realize the fruits of their vision. We not only lose the talent that can create sorely needed jobs, but also the opportunity to witness the creation of something revolutionary.
And we live the American story. Like many immigrant Koreans, upon landing in New York, my parents opened a deli. They worked grueling hours, often seven days a week, but they knew what they were working for and they succeeded. They succeeded because I grew up with opportunities that they could only have dreamed of. I started my first company, DynaMind, in my twenties, developing one of the first database driven websites on the World Wide Web to allow schools to create their own home pages and receive free internet connectivity through the local data telecom company, SNET. By the time I sold the platform and usage rights to SNET and the state of CT, more than 1,800 schools and nearly 400 libraries were connected to the Internet in the mid 1990’s.
Building on DynaMind’s success, I started two technology companies that have employed over 160 employees and deployed more than 700 websites and online applications during the height of the dotcom era, supporting organizations like American Express, Akamai Technologies, BJ’s Wholesale Club, LG Electronics, The US Peace Corp, and The White House. And, in 2001, I was fortunate enough to be honored as a finalist for the Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” and “Outstanding 50 Asian American in Business Award” in 2005.
I joined the Partnership for a New American Economy because while my story is an immigrant story, it is also an American story. Immigrants like my family come here to work. We come here for a better life. And America is better for it.
I am proud to be an American. I am proud to have built American companies. And I am proud to have created American jobs. Entrepreneurial minds the world over want that same pride. And if we are smarter about our immigration laws, we can give it to them while strengthening our economy for the next generation of Americans.
Cummins is proud of our Indiana heritage. Since our founding in Indiana over 90 years ago, we have grown into a large, global corporation that now does business in 190 countries and stands as one of the largest companies in the state. I joined the Partnership for a New American Economy because our history at Cummins has proven to us again and again that we can only grow and create American jobs if we convince the best minds around the world to come to Indiana. Nearly 30 percent of Cummins' professional work force in Indiana was born outside the United States, including nearly 500 people born in India, more than 100 from China and 70 from Mexico. These workers are job creators, and the vast majority of the jobs they create are filled by Americans.
Cummins competes against the best companies in the world for talent, especially for the large number of engineers we need to design the next-generation products and technologies that will determine our future success. These talented individuals are in high demand and short supply, and can work anywhere in the world. If we want to build the companies and create the jobs of tomorrow, we need to make America an appealing and welcoming place for the brightest minds of today.
As mayor of Salt Lake City, I welcome entrepreneurs of all stripes to create opportunities in Utah's capital city. Nicknamed the Crossroads of the West, Salt Lake City drew thousands of newcomers during the railroad and mining booms of the 1800s; rails were laid, and when the reservoirs of silver and gold ran dry, the work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit of these transplants did not. They settled and used their talents to create new businesses.
This is a quintessential American story. Immigrants have come to the United States for centuries, seeking opportunities and better lives for themselves and their children. We benefit tremendously from their talent and their drive, and we must ensure that our laws adequately consider the powerful economic benefit of uniquely-skilled immigrants who create jobs and new lives on our rich Utah soil.
Today, Salt Lake City's economy thrives in many sectors. Researchers at the University of Utah have developed technology to prevent strokes, use wireless neural transmitters to control prosthetic limbs, and treat wastewater by electrifying microbes. High tech development is not exclusive to laboratories, and the Salt Lake area has also fostered the nascent e-commerce industry. Companies with major web presence such as eBay, Unisys, and Micron have all opened offices here in Utah, and Salt Lake-born web discounter Overstock.com pioneered liquidation e-commerce. American companies and universities benefit from being able to hire the best, including foreigners, who posses invaluable talents and knowhow.
As mayor, I have fostered the greater flow of global ideas and capital through the Salt Lake City Foreign Trade Zone, which forges relationships between Salt Lake City and international companies, reducing trade barriers and increasing sales. But as mayor, I struggle when Utah-trained immigrants are forced to leave the U.S., taking their expertise and entrepreneurship to create companies that compete with American companies. I cannot change federal immigration laws, but I can offer credible testimony. Sensible immigration laws fuel a stronger American economy.
My testimony is not unique, hundreds of other business leaders and mayors have united their voices with the Partnership for a New American Economy to call on Washington to fix our broken immigration system. Simply put, driving away smart and hardworking people endangers our future prosperity.
For Alcoa to a remain America's leader in Aluminum research, innovation, and production, we increasingly rely on our ability to hire, train, and keep a diversified workforce that draws upon talent from this country as well as from abroad.
I joined the Partnership for a New American Economy as I support their strategic vision of comprehensive immigration reform, which will help Alcoa keep its status as America's global leader in the aluminum industry.
Kodak helps consumers, businesses, and creative professionals unleash the power of pictures and printing to enrich their lives. Every day, we work to create a new digital company. We do this by developing the broadest portfolios of technologies, products and services to help consumers, commercial printers and enterprises make, manage and move information and images.
The driving force behind Kodak's innovative products has been the world class talent that we attract from around the globe. The rapid pace by which our business evolves calls for a highly-skilled and specialized workforce. The U.S. represents only five percent of the population of the world and a successful export strategy is fundamental for global American companies. Our company exemplifies the need for strong immigration reform, so that we can continue to recruit talent and provide our workforce with the opportunities to excel in their fields -- without geographical boundaries hindering their ability to innovate here in the United States.
There are so many small towns and cities that are struggling to compete in the new global economy. So many old factories have shut down and young people have to move away to find good jobs. To turn things around, it takes a creative but tried-and-true strategy, that involves tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit of America's immigrant tradition. The federal government's failure to build a consistent policy that allows for the legal entry of hard-working and committed immigrants makes it that much tougher for communities like mine to take advantage of growth opportunities. I joined the Partnership for a New American Economy so that Lewiston and small towns throughout America can revitalize: attract population and create jobs again.
BioEnterprise was formed to grow the bioscience and healthcare companies that will keep America competitive in this key sector of the 21st century global economy. Its funders and partners include Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University, Summa Health System, and BioInnovation Institute. In less than a decade, BioEnterprise has assisted over 100 biomedical start-ups in the Cleveland area that have gone on to attract over $1 billion in funding, brought numerous new medical innovations to the marketplace, and created hundreds of knowledge-economy jobs.
Its success depends upon its ability to connect inventors, entrepreneurs, clinicians, and investors, no matter where they come from. I joined the Partnership for a New American Economy to advocate for a smarter immigration system;a system that rolls out the red carpet for the individuals who will keep Americans at work in the coming decades.
For more than 85 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. With 2010 sales and revenues of $42.588 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. We are also a leading services provider through Caterpillar Financial Services, Caterpillar Remanufacturing Services, Caterpillar Logistics Services and Progress Rail Services.
We are proud of our role in building the world's infrastructure, and we are determined to maintain our position as the global leader. Global competition is getting tougher everyday, and we need policies that enhance our ability to compete on the global stage. We need reasonable immigration laws that allow us to attract and keep the best talent in the United States, working for us, instead of for our competitors. For example, today we have engineers from around the world getting advanced degrees at universities across the United States. Instead of keeping that talent here, developing our diverse workforce and building our innovation focused-economy, too often these people are sent home because getting a green card is difficult and time consuming. I want to help change that and keep the world's best talent right here. And that's one of the reasons I have joined the Partnership for a New American Economy‚to help promote policies that keep the United States competitive.