Setting the Agenda for 2011
Congress is back in session and the gears of government are turning. We're excited to make progress on policies that will lead to job growth, opportunities for tech SMBs, and support for cybersecurity.
A significant ritual to the year is the delivery of the President's State of the Union address. A day before the President delivered his remarks, CompTIA CEO Todd Thibodeaux offered these brief recommendations:
"There is no higher priority for the President and Congress than getting people back to work. The U.S. IT industry can help. Despite high unemployment rates, there are an estimated 400,000 unfilled IT jobs. With training and certification, qualified candidates can begin to fill these slots. Moreover, if small- and medium-sized tech firms are given a level playing field with respect to regulations, taxes and access to working capital, even more opportunities could abound, in turn allowing IT companies to serve a wide range of clients, from the corner restaurant and dry cleaner, to community hospitals, online start-ups and more.
"Some immediate steps need to be taken. Repeal the new 1099 IRS reporting requirement. Support simplification of business activity taxes. Pass the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act to ensure access to IT training and certification. Create additional incentives for small- and medium-sized tech companies to work with health practices to adopt healthcare IT, which can help improve patient care and reduce costs.
"On behalf of CompTIA's 2,500 member companies, I look forward to working with the Obama Administration and the new Congress to address these and other critical issues."
We welcome the President's emphasis on competiveness, innovation and common sense approaches to taxes and regulation. Now the details must be addressed and the hard work must begin...
"State of the Net" has Meaning for Tech Businesses
This month, we attended the "State of the Net" conference hosted by the Advisory Committee to the Congressional Internet Caucus held in Washington, D.C. Our report covers three very timely panel discussions:
Online Privacy on Trial: Has Congress Given Industry Self-Regulating Long Enough?
Congress and the Open Internet
The Cloud of Internet Policy
New Leadership for House Energy & Commerce Committee
It's a new year and a new legislative agenda prevails in the House. Fred Upton (R-MI) is the new chairman of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee and has named his subcommittee chairs. See the listing.
Federal Migration to Cloud Computing
The federal government recognizes that cloud is the new computing platform. However, there is reluctance by federal procurement officers, CIO and other federal IT specialists to migrate their existing IT systems to this new platform. Fortunately, the Obama administration recognizes this reluctance and has initiated several programs to ignite the cloud migration for federal agencies. In fact, the White House CIO Vivek Kundra made the case for the importance of the migration at a recent cloud computing forum. Read more.
Legislation Introduced in House to Repeal 1099
One of the first orders of business for the new House of Representatives is to repeal the new Form 1099 reporting requirement. H.R.4, the "Small Business Paperwork Mandate Elimination Act of 2011" was introduced in the House on January 12, by Rep Dan Lungren (CA), along with 245 co-sponsors. On January 25, Sen. Michael Johanns (NE) introduced companion legislation, S. 18, in the Senate. Further, the President specifically voiced his support for 1099 repeal in his State of the Union address. The clear indication is that support for this repeal is continuing to grow. Read more.
What's up with WIA
In this challenging economy, where the unemployment rate remains discouragingly high, IT jobs may be available but must be met by a skilled and ready workforce. CompTIA maintains the Getting America Back to Work (GABTW) Program to provide a comprehensive process for assessing, training, certifying and placing unemployed individuals into entry and mid-level IT technical positions. Funding for training and certification vouchers is provided through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Thus the introduction and passage of the reauthorization of the WIA is a priority for CompTIA public advocacy. Read more.
Navigating Congress: Help Us to Help You
With the beginning of the 112th Congress now under way, the IT industry faces many challenges and opportunities. The job of the Public Advocacy staff is to make sure that your voice and your concerns are heard in the "People's House". Nevertheless, it is only truly the people's house if the stories and experiences of the people are what lawmakers hear and read about. In the immortal words of Jerry Maguire, "help us to help you." We need to hear from you about how laws, policies and regulations impact your business. Read more.
COMPTIA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES
Global IT Industry to Grow 4%
Our latest IT Industry Business Confidence Index points to renewed optimism and a strengthening economy. The index, an average of sentiment about the economy, IT industry and individual companies, jumped seven points in December. At 60 on a 100-point scale, the index is now at its highest point since its inception. IT executives forecast an additional five-point increase in confidence over the next six months. Read more.
Profit from Your Certification
Share memorable points in your IT career that would not have happened without one of your CompTIA certifications. Better yet earn money for those memories in our Get IT Video Contest. With $5,000 in prizes, entrants just need to create a video about how they've used CompTIA-certified skills to solve an IT issue, obtain an increase in salary, get a promotion or land a new job. Entries are due before February 16.
Nominate IT Game-Changers
We're launching the IT Hall of Fame to recognize the contributions of "game-changers" in the IT channel and IT innovators. The inaugural class will be inducted during our Annual Member Meeting on April 7th. Nominate your choices for the Hall of Fame by February 1st.
Annual Member Meeting: Register Today
CompTIA's second Annual Member Meeting (AMM) comes back to Chicago next April. Get involved with your industry and the CompTIA communities to build partnerships, share best practices and address specific issues related to your business. Mark your calendars for April 6-7 and join us at the Swissotel. Register.
To read previous issues of Policy Watch, click here.
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Key CompTIA Public Policy Contacts
Vice President, Public Advocacy
Director, Public Advocacy
Senior Director, Public Advocacy
PAC and Grassroots Advocacy
Matthew L. Evans
Manager, Public Advocacy