Tim Bryan, CEO of GalaxE Solutions, seen here shaking hands with the President, was an invited participant at the White House forum on "Insourcing Jobs."
GalaxE was probably invited because they have garnered significant press for opening up an office in Detroit rather than Rio. However, he probably didn't bring with him the list of jobs he has outsourced to India.
Bringing jobs back from abroad is going to be a campaign issue, if President Obama makes good on his promise to introduce legislation that eliminates the tax rewards for outsourcing jobs. We need to support this. But President Obama is also giving us an opening to understand how outsourcing companies rely on corporate visa programs like h1-b and L-1.
Currently, these programs allow corporations to place foreign citizens they have hired at their client's site here in the US, in order to coordinate the outsourcing work and ensure delivery of services--without seeking American talent first.
GalaxE Solutions' billboard boasts "Outsource to Detroit" but behind the billboard's slogan are three offshore development centers in India, one in Bangalore, another in Hyderbad and new offices in Noida.
If President Obama's staff had visited GalaxE Solutions' website in preparation for the forum, they would have discovered that GalaxE had "launched its offshore operations in 2003 in Bangalore," touting their "superior capability to execute software projects offshore". They also state in their Careers section, "We also provide on-site work opportunities and L & H1B visa sponsorships."
If they had taken further steps to review GalaxE's 6 Help Wanted ads on Monster India, they would have discovered that GalaxE was advertising their growth plans to Indian job seekers on Dec. 21, 2011 to COBOL/AS 400 programmers this way:
"Our operations in India have grown steadily over past 9 years presence, and we continue to look forward to continuation of our growth in future- despite challenging economic environment in US.
This is due to the fact that most of our customers are into businesses which are non BFSI, and as such are not affected significantly by economic conditions.
In anticipation of growth we have expanded our operations this month, with significant addition to our infrastructure. We are looking forward to expanding our team, and have openings at all levels"
Further down the page, GalaxE's want ad offers working abroad as a benefit with the phrase, "Onsite opportunities to deserving employees."
Coinciding with their offshoring in 2003, GalaxE Solutions -- like all other outsourcing companies -- has used the H1-b program to recruit abroad, first and only, for their US job openings. From 2003 to 2009, they filled 77 of their US job openings with this program but they had no requirement to seek Americans first, in accordance with current H1-b law. The DOL filings show that the salaries offered were between $62,500 and $300,000 (search on "GalaxE").
So let's not be naive; all offshoring companies use these visas in this way. If we are seriously committed to returning jobs to America, we must build a national movement that restores Equal Opportunity--at all levels.
This movement must be willing to end a company's right to recruit abroad first without ever giving talented Americans a chance to compete for job openings we are qualified to do in our own country. As, Senator Durbin said on the introduction of the H1-b & L-1 Reform Act, "We have to make it clear that companies doing business in the United States have to give first priority to American workers."
If President Obama is willing to "do what it takes" to return outsourced jobs, we all need to contribute to reviving the American job market by lobbying for legislation that requires companies to seek Americans first -- before recruiting abroad.
The opposition is already gearing up to oppose the nascent push to return jobs. See the Heritage Foundation's op-ed "Obama’s “Insourcing” Agenda: Punishing Job Creators for Competing Overseas"
So will Americans continue to sit on the sidelines as our future jobs continue to wash abroad?