A new study by the Brookings Institution indicates Bloomington-Normal and Peoria leaders are leaving federal job training money on the table. Study author Neil Ruiz says Bloomington-Normal ranks number six and Peoria 18th in the nation in the rate of immigrant worker visas granted. Most of those people are employed at State Farm Insurance and Caterpillar doing computer and engineering work. But, Ruiz says a billion dollars in fees from those visas are available for workforce training and Bloomington Normal and Peoria have none of those dollars.
Bloomington-Normal ranks number one among all U-S cities in the percentage of immigrant visa requests for workers with science, technology, engineering, and math skills. The Brookings study indicates there were 728 such visa requests last year for workers from India and other countries to come to the U-S as employees of Patni Americas, H-T-C Global Services, Tata Consultancy and other firms.
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