Infosys To Hire 10,000 U.S. Workers After Trump Administration Singles Out Company For H-1B Usage

Infosys said it will hire 10,000 American workers and open four hubs focused on emerging technologies after the Trump administration cited the firm for its heavy usage of the H-1B visa program.

The Bangalore, India-based systems integrator said the Technology and Innovation hubs will focus on artificial intelligence, machine learning, user experience, emerging digital technologies, cloud and big data. Infosys said the first hub is expected to open in August in Vice President Mike Pence's home state of Indiana, and will create 2,000 jobs by 2021.

"Infosys is committed to hiring 10,000 American technology workers over the next two years to help invent and deliver the digital futures for our clients in the United States," Vishal Sikka, Infosys' CEO, said in a statement. "We are really excited to bring innovation and education in a fundamental and massive way to American workers."

[RELATED: President Trump Set To Sign H-1B Executive Order, Tata, Infosys, Cognizant In Crosshairs]

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Infosys said it plans to institute training programs around user experience, cloud, artificial intelligence, big data, digital and core technology and computer science skills to ensure American workers are fully equipped to support clients' digitization efforts. The company said it plans to hire both experienced technology professionals and recent graduates from major universities, local and community colleges.

The systems integrator said it will partner with universities including Stanford, Wisconsin, Cornell and Princeton for a global internship program, and U.S.-based startups at the forefront of innovation such as TidalScale, Waterline Data, Airviz and Trifacta. Infosys said its charitable foundation has provided computer science education and tools to more than 134,000 students and 2,500 teachers since 2015.

Infosys was one of three companies singled out during a Trump administration briefing last month for how it uses the H-1B skilled worker visa program.

"Companies like Tata, Infosys, Cognizant will apply for a very large number of {H-1B] visas … by putting extra tickets in the lottery raffle," the Trump administration official said, according to a transcript of last month's briefing. "You have contracting firms that are not skills employers, that often times use workers for entry-level positions, and they capture the lion's share of H-1B visas."

Infosys was the single biggest user of the H-1B visa program in the U.S. government's 2016 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, according for 25,405 visas and offering an average salary of $81,705, according to U.S. Department of Labor Data compiled by

Infosys paid the U.S. government $34 million in October 2013 to settle allegations that the company was having employees with B-1 visas perform work designated for H-1B visa holders. B-1 visa holders are only allowed to visit the U.S., participate in meetings and negotiate contracts.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order last month to shift the H-1B visa program away from a lottery system weighted toward lower-wage workers to a system that prioritizes higher-skilled, higher-paid workers. The shift will make it much more difficult for outsourcing giants to replace American workers, according to the Trump administration.

"People, probably in their heads, think most H-1B visas are going to these romanticized, high-skilled firms that are pioneering the technology of the future – [and] not [to] contract workers," the senior Trump administration official said last month.

Reforms under consideration, according to a Trump administration senior official, include increasing fees for visa applications (to dissuade companies from applying for more visas than they plan to use), adjusting the wage scale to accurately reflect prevailing wages, and adjusting the lottery system to give master's degree holders a better chance of getting H-1B visas relative to bachelor's degree holders.

Infosys's sales for its 2017 fiscal year – which ended March 31 – climbed above $10 billion for the first time, yet fell well short of projected revenue growth of between 8.6 percent and 9 percent. And revenue growth guidance of 6.1 percent to 8.1 percent for the coming fiscal year would make it tough for the company to hit its ambitious goal of $20 billion in sales by 2020.

The company's buildup of software-centric capabilities coupled with execution challenges could turn Infosys into an acquisition target for ISVs, according to research firm Technology Business Research.

"The traditional IT services model is dying, and they need to transform," TBR's Boz Hirstov, a senior analyst covering professional services, told CRN last month. "This year is going to be really critical for Infosys in terms of make it or break it."

Infosys is the second IT solution provider to make an American job creation pledge since Trump's election in November 2016. It comes some two and a half months after Dublin, Ireland-based Accenture, No. 2 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, promised to create 15,000 American jobs by 2020, open 10 new U.S. innovation hub centers, and invest $1.4 billion in training between now and 2020.

Technology vendors including IBM, AT&T, Intel, Amazon and Sprint have all promised since Trump's election to boost their investment in the U.S. job market and make additional positions available to American workers.