As an economic strategy, should the Rochester region make a focused effort to attract more foreign-born workers?*
* A report released last week shows that growth in the region’s foreign-born population has offset a decline in native-born residents. In addition, foreign-born workers here are more likely to have a college degree than native-born area residents.
Over several centuries, the USA’s national economy has prospered, at least in part, from immigration into our country. In addition to immigration sustaining growth, immigrants have a higher propensity to create new businesses, and hence new job opportunities for everyone. … I thank my foreign-born grandparents for coming here, enabling me, and all their descendants, the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of our great nation. Let us continue this successful tradition by welcoming immigrants to the Rochester area.
-Peter A. Pizzutelli, vice president of sales, Finger Lakes Technologies Group
Yes, not at the expense of U.S.-born, but as a way to focus a part of the effort toward achieving the overall goal of attracting and retaining talent.
-David Lamb, Rochester
A systematic strategy to attract foreign-born population is beneficial to ANY community. They bring knowledge, skill, culture and diversity to the otherwise homogenous society. … They are engines to the economy. It is not a question of should we attract them but what do we have to attract them to come and to stay here?
-Patrick Ho, Rochester Optical
Until we run out of local people needing and willing to work, we should work harder on retaining our trained workers. We know (or hope) that these people are taxpaying members of our society. Foreign imports may not be so willing.
-Bob Hyder, Hyder Machinery
Rochester should make an effort to attract as many qualified workers as possible. Where they are born or educated should not impact the decision to hire. It would be valuable, however, for resources to be available to all employers to assist foreign-born workers to become members of our social as well as working community.
-Lonny Dolin, Dolin Thomas & Solomon LLP
11/16/07 (C) Rochester Business Journal