Ohio’s Plan to Attract International Talents
The Ohio Chancellor of the Board of Regents to strategize for retaining international talents. In his report, Chancellor Carey points out an imminent challenge. Slow population growth creates an aging workforce at the danger of losing global-mindedness, because Ohio already has a lower percentage of immigrant population. If native students simply take the worldview of economic stagnation, they will be less global-minded. Worse still, the competitive and creative thinkers will be attracted to the East or West Coast. This double jeopardy prompts the state of Ohio to call for action.
In terms of economic performance, Ohio ranked 49th in 2014, according to American Legislative Exchange Council. As much as the growth of industrial productivity continues, Ohio’s transition remains painful, and painfully long.
There is still hope. There are about 30,000 international students in Ohio as of this academic year and there are ways to retain them.
Ohio’s plan to retain high-skilled immigrants is simple– the state will develop a consortium plan to achieve the following goals: 1). instill instant good-will among internationals by passing friendly laws such as extending grace period for driver’s license; 2). coordinate efforts among schools for overseas attraction; 3). encourage H-1B sponsorship, National Interest Waiver applications and EB-5 investments.
The report is a strong call for action. Careful readers would find little mention of methods or rationale for implementation. In fact, most regulations are federal. Aspiring states, like Ohio, can do little. H-1B and EB-5 cap are set federally, and cap-exempt H-1B positions are limited due to industry practice.
With limited resource, budgetary constraint, and economic stagnation, Ohio must be creative and resilient. Ohio must leverage synergy of international talents, local businesses and Asian capitals flowing to the U.S. Let’s hope for the best. It was European immigrants who made Ohio a great state last time. This time, it may be Asian immigrants. Planning has started and Ohio should enter the competition as soon as possible.