2017 TechServe Alliance Legislative Agenda Support Policies that Address the Systemic IT and Engineering Professional Talent Shortage in the U.S. While Continuing to Meet Near-Term Needs The U.S. has for many years suffered from a shortage of highly-skilled technical professionals. A qualified workforce is essential to the U.S. economy and the success of the IT and engineering staffing industry. TechServe Alliance supports policies that address the systemic talent shortage including increasing resources for STEM education and worker training. Further, to meet near-term needs, Congress should provide access to a reasonable number of IT & engineering professionals on H-1B visas without any policy changes that discriminate against U.S.-based IT and engineering staffing firms. Clarify the FLSA Definition of Computer Professional to Reflect Hundreds of New IT Occupations The 1990s definition of computer professional, as codified in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), was enacted when the “World Wide Web” and the Internet were in the infancy stage. As America's technology industry has grown at an extremely fast pace for more than two decades, there are literally hundreds of new IT professional occupations. TechServe Alliance strongly supports efforts to resolve any doubt about whether these new IT occupations fall within the FLSA computer professional exemption through updating and clarification of the statutory language. IT and Engineering Consultants Providing Services as Independent Contractors Should Be Treated the Same as Professionals in Other Industries Some IT and engineering professionals choose to operate their own businesses by providing services as independent contractors. Recent tax reform efforts have proposed revising the safe harbor for employers. However, certain provisions in past proposals would have made it difficult if not impossible for the IT and engineering staffing firms to be eligible for the new safe harbor. Given that the 115th Congress may enact major tax reform, we ask that future legislative efforts include a revised safe harbor provision for independent contractor status that fully accommodates independent professionals working within the IT and engineering staffing and solutions industry.