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TVA tried to replace American workers with h1-b holders!

Karl_K

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Trump says your fired to the chairman and a board member!
Its a start.
 

VRBeauty

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That story doesn’t provide a lot of information, but... a few observations:

1) TVA was replacing employees with contractors - privatizing essential functions. Ridding itself of potential long-term pension and health insurance costs, and probably of unionized labor. All of which seems to be in line with the president’s agenda.

2) I’ve been in the position to hire, and assist in hiring, for very technical positions. We generally got 50 or more applications for each position, 1/4 to 1/2 of which were viable. We’d generally narrow the field to less than ten for interviews. Our interviews always consisted of a written portion to assess technical acuity specific to the position we were hiring for (and writing skills, where appropriate) coupled with a structured interview that usually lasted about an hour. There were times when a foreign candidate was very clearly the best prepared technically, and the best fit overall. And they turned out to be excellent additions to the team, and to our ability to fulfill our mission. And of course, there were also times when the same could be said of US candidates. I don’t know whether this contractor was hiring foreign workers because they’d work for less or because they had better skills, or some combination of the two. But since the work is described as “highly technical,” I’m guessing their technical background played a role.
 

Karl_K

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1) TVA was replacing employees with contractors
Yes that is the way scumbags have figured out to get around the law and replace Americans with foreign labor.
That there were 200 Americans sucessfuly doing the jobs destroys any claim that there was not US talent who could do it.
 

Matata

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VRBeauty

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Government agencies have been under pressure to outsource work to contractors for ages, as a way of reducing costs ad teducing the power of unions. Apparently TVA went too far. And I was not intending to imply that the existing workers weren’t doing the job well, Just to point out that there are highly qualified technical foreign workers who may be the best hire in some cases.

In any event, TVA has apparently said this wasn’t a cost-cutting move, which (if you buy that argument) begs the question of then, why do it, and leads back to the possibility that it’s related to unions...

 

TooPatient

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Happens all the time. A friend was working as a contractor for a large company. He and his team were told their contract would be ending at the earliest date allowed and they would be training their replacements as they could do the job cheaper. All h1-b. The management went way too far when they required the existing contractors to buy traditional garb to wear at a dinner in welcome to their replacements....
 

Daisys and Diamonds

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Happens all the time. A friend was working as a contractor for a large company. He and his team were told their contract would be ending at the earliest date allowed and they would be training their replacements as they could do the job cheaper. All h1-b. The management went way too far when they required the existing contractors to buy traditional garb to wear at a dinner in welcome to their replacements....
My mind is full of expletives
That is total bull s##t
 

Karl_K

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Some of my favorite previous H1-B holders:

- SpaceX/Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk

- Google CEO Sundar Pichai

- Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
I don't have a problem with h1-b as long as it is done the way the law intended.
 

Karl_K

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It is supposed to be for the best and brightest who are needed to supplement American talent not replace it.
They should pass a law saying that the min h1-b salary has to be 150% or 175% of the prevailing wage for the position.
 
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scouty

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It is supposed to be for the best and brightest who are needed to supplement American talent not replace it.
They should pass a law saying that the min h1-b salary has to be 150% of the prevailing wage for the position.
If you judge talent on a pure salary basis this will limit scientists who are in research positions at universities or non-profits across the US. Talent is not directly proportional to salary.
 

Karl_K

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If you judge talent on a pure salary basis this will limit scientists who are in research positions at universities or non-profits across the US. Talent is not directly proportional to salary.
There could be exemptions for education and research.
It would put a stop to 99% of the abuses in IT instantly.
H1-b abuse has done a huge amount of harm to Americans in the IT field including to me.
 

scouty

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There could be exemptions for education and research.
It would put a stop to 99% of the abuses in IT instantly.
H!-b abuse has done a huge amount of harm to Americans in the IT field including to me.
I'm a software dev in FAANG ... every h1-b holder I've worked with is top talent hands down. I'm sorry your experience in tech was different, maybe it's due to wide range in caliber of tech companies out there.
 

Volute

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I appreciate the spirit of what @Karl_K is saying. H1-B is often abused by FAANG, and I’m assuming it’s egregiously abused by smaller companies with far less transparency (in some cases) as well. However, the exemption for education and research doesn’t take into account that the line between research and the private sector is fluid.

At the same time, I strongly agree with @scouty that H-1B talent is top notch, and that this isn’t always a zero-sum game either. In my extremely niche, tech-adjacent field, there aren’t many Americans that can do the work at all. This is just a fact. Yet, the research and products we produce result in US hires and supports US businesses. I want to be diplomatic, but I have to be honest here. The US is falling behind in educational attainment. I’ve heard of and seen abuses of the visa system. I’ve also seen countless instances of entitled or clueless Americans who are not competitive and believe they are being slighted. No blanket policy will solve this problem.
 

Arcadian

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I will agree with @Karl_K that unfortunately H1-B is not used in its original intent. It is supposed to augment the US workforce, not replace it.

Unfortunately you DO have businesses pushing out American workers, especially in IT in favor of H1-B which they can get cheaper and they know this to be true. Those of you who say you don't like capitalism...this is exactly what it does.

Also, one more thing I can discuss is that at higher levels of Government which has to do with contract houses: if you are a contract house to the federal government, your employees who do federal work must undergo a federal background check.

Large Contract houses get around this by not having certain employees work on anything where they have to connect to a government network or, work only on parts of a project. This goes against all any contract at the federal level which will state that employees including sub contractors must be American Citizens or, Naturalized Citizens.

As you all know I don't agree with the President on lots of issues, but this one I do agree with what he's doing. Because of how TVA is structured, They must follow federal mandates for employment. The fact that Trump got wind of it and is enforcing federal guidelines...listen, don't just disagree to disagree here. If you are working at this level of the federal government for any reason, you must abide by the employment rules set forth. They knew that and decided to do differently.

In other areas of business, H1-B is absolutely abused in this country. There is talent out there but these companies (unfortutunately) don't want to pay the American workforce price for it. You will also have companies that will tell American workers they must train their HB-1 counterparts, and they then fire the American worker. I had that happen twice. It wasn't because I didn't know the job either, I knew it well enough to train someone to do it.
 

scouty

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I appreciate the spirit of what @Karl_K is saying. H1-B is often abused by FAANG, and I’m assuming it’s egregiously abused by smaller companies with far less transparency (in some cases) as well. However, the exemption for education and research doesn’t take into account that the line between research and the private sector is fluid.

At the same time, I strongly agree with @scouty that H-1B talent is top notch, and that this isn’t always a zero-sum game either. In my extremely niche, tech-adjacent field, there aren’t many Americans that can do the work at all. This is just a fact. Yet, the research and products we produce result in US hires and supports US businesses. I want to be diplomatic, but I have to be honest here. The US is falling behind in educational attainment. I’ve heard of and seen abuses of the visa system. I’ve also seen countless instances of entitled or clueless Americans who are not competitive and believe they are being slighted. No blanket policy will solve this problem.
I totally agree with you that a blanket policy won't solve the problem. There's many factors that need to be considered.

A lot of Americans get complacent and don't want to spend time outside of their day job to continuously learn new languages/frameworks/tech stack required to stay competitive. I have a graduate degree in Computer Science, I was one of the few female students in the program and it was virtually all international students. A lot of the Americans don't want to put in the time and effort it takes to prep for an interview in FAANG. There's numerous job openings that can't be filled because there isn't the level of talent required. The jobs will continue to go where the talent is, and sadly that won't be the US if the talent can't get visas. It will be other countries with more attractive immigration policies like our friendly neighbor Canada or remote work, the effectiveness of which has been successfully demonstrated during Covid.
 
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Volute

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I totally agree with you that a blanket policy won't solve the problem. There's many factors that need to be considered.

A lot of Americans get complacent and don't want to spend time outside of their day job to continuously learn new languages/frameworks/tech stack required to stay competitive. I have a graduate degree in Computer Science, I was one of the few female students in the program and it was virtually all international students. A lot of the Americans don't want to put in the time and effort it takes to prep for an interview in FAANG. There's numerous job openings that can't be filled because there isn't the level of talent required. The jobs will continue to go where the talent is, and sadly that won't be the US if the talent can't get visas. It will be other countries with more attractive immigration policies like our friendly neighbor Canada or remote work, the effectiveness of which has been successfully demonstrated during Covid.
Sadly, I agree with everything you’re saying. @Arcadian has provided pertinent information about federal jobs, and I agree in the main that federal work should prioritize American hiring. But science and tech (among many, many other fields) needs to be competitive at the international level, and any appearance of retaliatory policy making discourages the formation of innovative US companies. Well, I’m sure you know all this, but this is a problem I’ve been thinking about every single day lately. I am a dual passport holder, and one of the few Americans at my tiny company. We may be forced to relocate to a more research friendly environment. As a small business, we don’t have the resources to maintain any sort of continuity if we lose our best H1B researchers, not to mention what’s happening to our academic researchers. My FAANG employed husband is also frustrated at the necessity of remote work. I go back and forth on the idea of relocating because I have family commitments here, but I may be vetoed by my colleagues who are sick of the volatility.
 

scouty

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Sadly, I agree with everything you’re saying. @Arcadian has provided pertinent information about federal jobs, and I agree in the main that federal work should prioritize American hiring. But science and tech (among many, many other fields) needs to be competitive at the international level, and any appearance of retaliatory policy making discourages the formation of innovative US companies. Well, I’m sure you know all this, but this is a problem I’ve been thinking about every single day lately. I am a dual passport holder, and one of the few Americans at my tiny company. We may be forced to relocate to a more research friendly environment. As a small business, we don’t have the resources to maintain any sort of continuity if we lose our best H1B researchers, not to mention what’s happening to our academic researchers. My FAANG employed husband is also frustrated at the necessity of remote work. I go back and forth on the idea of relocating because I have family commitments here, but I may be vetoed by my colleagues who are sick of the volatility.
I agree that the federal jobs should be prioritized for US citizens, if that is what the government chooses. Your company being forced to choose between its top researchers and remaining in the US due to the current anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies highlights the issue here. The volatility has already started to impact international students choosing US universities for their studies, one of the US top "exports". International students contributed 41 billion to the US economy in 2018 alone and offset the cost of education for US students. The number of international students who are choosing to study in Canada over the US has been increasing rapidly since the Trump administration began. Those who think that messing with Big Tech's ability to get skilled worker visas will create jobs for Americans are woefully ignorant. Those high paying jobs will follow the talent to other countries, innovation and growth will go with them.
 

voce

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H1-B abuses hurt all employees. My dad worked at a medical practice where he saw H1-B doctors getting paid well below market wages to cling to an employer that would employ them for long enough to get their green card. There are people from other countries who tolerate these abuses and are willing to do whatever it takes to come and stay in the US.
 

Bayek

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you need to absolutely talk to republicans, this is their baby.


Yes that is the way scumbags have figured out to get around the law and replace Americans with foreign labor.
That there were 200 Americans sucessfuly doing the jobs destroys any claim that there was not US talent who could do it.
 

Bayek

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hardly trickle down or conservative ways of doing things there karl... a law that a h1b visa holder is paid more than an existing member of a team? no.

now you see that the feds may be paying a prevailing price for say java development BUT the H1B holders work for contractors, not the feds, so the contractor pays them less than an average American worker, then the contractor offers a better deal than hiring Americans, no health insurance! no retirement, dude this is captialism at it's best!!! this is what republicans want, H1B Visa should be used only when there is a documented lack of qualified engineers. Good luck on that.


It is supposed to be for the best and brightest who are needed to supplement American talent not replace it.
They should pass a law saying that the min h1-b salary has to be 150% or 175% of the prevailing wage for the position.
 

Bayek

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Gotta say to you, my son who has a BBA in CIS would say FAANG interviews are absurd and in very few ways show how an engineer will work in a team, with a team or develop now he's 28, he works in manhattan (or used to, now works at home) I will say he was not hired after interviewing with Goldman Sachs, but did get hired by another bank (top 10 usa bank) he feels the ego's of these guys who interview are absurd at times..

My son says that these types of companies create an aura of brilliance, as in everyone is brilliant and not much real work get's across because - well everyone is brilliant!

my other son is a programmer for the state of Texas.


I totally agree with you that a blanket policy won't solve the problem. There's many factors that need to be considered.

A lot of Americans get complacent and don't want to spend time outside of their day job to continuously learn new languages/frameworks/tech stack required to stay competitive. I have a graduate degree in Computer Science, I was one of the few female students in the program and it was virtually all international students. A lot of the Americans don't want to put in the time and effort it takes to prep for an interview in FAANG. There's numerous job openings that can't be filled because there isn't the level of talent required. The jobs will continue to go where the talent is, and sadly that won't be the US if the talent can't get visas. It will be other countries with more attractive immigration policies like our friendly neighbor Canada or remote work, the effectiveness of which has been successfully demonstrated during Covid.
 

scouty

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Gotta say to you, my son who has a BBA in CIS would say FAANG interviews are absurd and in very few ways show how an engineer will work in a team, with a team or develop now he's 28, he works in manhattan (or used to, now works at home) I will say he was not hired after interviewing with Goldman Sachs, but did get hired by another bank (top 10 usa bank) he feels the ego's of these guys who interview are absurd at times..

My son says that these types of companies create an aura of brilliance, as in everyone is brilliant and not much real work get's across because - well everyone is brilliant!

my other son is a programmer for the state of Texas.
My Dad is old-school software engineer doing embedded C++. He's very intelligent and a great engineer with 30 years experience, but he couldn't pass a FAANG interview for sure in his current state.

When I prepped for FAANG interviews I spent 6 months on Leetcode and Hackerank doing algorithms and data structures problems after work for many hours. Probably around ~300 hours worth of total preparations and over 1000 practice problems.

So how can you quantify a good developer? Working for X company or graduating from Y school is simply not a reliable indicator of skills. The FAANG interview process attempts to quantify this. I didn't particularly enjoy spending 300 hours, while I had a full time job, preparing after work but it's part of the game.
 

kb1gra

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hardly trickle down or conservative ways of doing things there karl... a law that a h1b visa holder is paid more than an existing member of a team? no.

now you see that the feds may be paying a prevailing price for say java development BUT the H1B holders work for contractors, not the feds, so the contractor pays them less than an average American worker...
Correct. The law says they must pay the worker a minimum of $60,000 a year. Thus the average h1b holder makes $64,000 a year - just enough to get past scrutiny by the feds.

the vast majority of the 85,000 allowed h1b visas go to consulting firms - Accenture, cognizant, tech Mahindra, Infosys are on the list. They use the h1b program as incentive to keep their consultants in India on lower wages with the carrot dangling that maybe that person might get sent to the US one day. The problem goes very deep in the tech industry and we have trained the consumers of the service to drive rates down to the bottom dollar.
 

Bayek

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my son spends hours, hours, hours studying because he wants to work at FB or Amazon. i'm not sure WHAT language is he working in today.

i cannot quantify a great programmer, but my husband has innovation awards from good old ibm and he has patents and his world was design simulation - all logic.he would say a good programmer is one that can write a program that other coders can understand and be well documented. ... my son who wants to work for a FB or amazon would be a better person to ask.. but i do know that my son is doing deep data mining and also working on moving programs to GPUs, very deep computing. i am not sure how many languages he knows or writes in but i do know it's many. So i will ask him how he quantifies a good developer.

my fav language; assembler/370 because it was so simple, but i've been retired for 7 years and went into management a sure way to lose an edge.


My Dad is old-school software engineer doing embedded C++. He's very intelligent and a great engineer with 30 years experience, but he couldn't pass a FAANG interview for sure in his current state.

When I prepped for FAANG interviews I spent 6 months on Leetcode and Hackerank doing algorithms and data structures problems after work for many hours. Probably around ~300 hours worth of total preparations and over 1000 practice problems.

So how can you quantify a good developer? Working for X company or graduating from Y school is simply not a reliable indicator of skills. The FAANG interview process attempts to quantify this. I didn't particularly enjoy spending 300 hours, while I had a full time job, preparing after work but it's part of the game.
 
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