Under political pressure, Infosys says it will hire 10,000 American workers

Next Story

BlaBlaCar unveils BlaBlaLines, a new app for daily commutes

Infosys, the India-headquartered tech consulting giant, has promised to hire 10,000 American workers over the next two years. The company said today that it will accomplish this by launching four new technology hubs in the U.S., with the first set to open this August in Indiana. The facility is supposed to create 2,000 jobs by 2021.

The company’s announcement comes two weeks after President Donald Trump ordered federal agencies to review how H-1B visas are distributed. Bills to reform the program, which grants visas to highly skilled workers, are also under consideration in Congress and have received bipartisan support. Indian IT firms like Infosys, Wipro and Tata Consultancy Services rely heavily on the H-1B program to bring in workers and are eager to gain favor with U.S. politicians.

While no changes have been made yet to the H-1B program under the current administration, Infosys has been treading carefully. Reuters reports that the company plans to apply for just under 1,000 H-1B visas this year, a dramatic decrease from 6,500 applications in 2016 and 9,000 applications in 2015.

Other tech companies that have promised to create more positions in the U.S. since Trump’s election include Amazon, IBM, SoftBank and Alibaba. As CNBC points out, however, some of those companies already had hiring or expansion plans in place before their announcements were made and it’s still unclear if those jobs will come to fruition.

Though Infosys’ announcement did not directly mention Trump or the H-1B programs, it took the offensive by emphasizing its long presence in the U.S. Founded in 1981 in Pune, India, Infosys opened its first international office in Boston six years later. It also mentioned its charity Infosys Foundation USA and how many years Sikka has lived in the States.

“Since joining Infosys nearly three years ago, it has been my personal endeavor to help us get much closer to our clients, to co-innovate with them, on their most important business problems,” said Sikka in the release. “Having lived in the U.S. for nearly 30 years, and being a part of the incredible innovation here, I truly believe Infosys can help clients bring innovation more directly into their businesses, as they create and drive their digital transformations.”

Headquartered in Bangalore, Infosys has about 200,000 workers worldwide. Sikka told Reuters that Infosys has already hired 2,000 American workers as part of another initiative that started in 2014.

Featured Image: MANJUNATH KIRAN/Getty Images