The American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 (ACWIA) requires every H-1B petitioner to pay a training fee of either $750 or $1500 (depending on the size of the petitioner) for each H-1B petition that a petitioner files. These ACWIA fees are used to train US workers in job areas that petitioners traditionally use H-1B workers.
Did you ever wonder exactly where these ACWIA dollars go? The US Department of Labor recently announced $159 million in grants awarded to 36 public-private partnerships that will train US workers in areas that are currently filled by H-1B workers. The areas include “advanced manufacturing, energy, health care and information technology”. The funding for these grants came from ACWIA training fees collected through H-1B filings. $85 million will be used to train individuals who have been unemployed for more than six months. Another $70 million will be used to provide on-the-job training to program participants.
The US Department of Labor’s press release can be found at: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/eta/eta20111453.htm