In its Labor Day editorial "Filling Tech Jobs in Virginia" [Sept. 6], The Post missed the point of work force issues and particularly the problems in Virginia. Skepticism over the proposed tax breaks and incentives for high-tech interns and Virginia businesses is unfounded when linked to overall worker shortage issues.
There are short-term and long-term methods to solving this crisis that, as Alan Greenspan has said on numerous occasions, threatens to slow down and potentially stall our economy. Part of the long-term solution is in training, retraining and encouraging more students to go into high-tech fields. The internship programs that Virginia Gov. Gilmore is considering are part of a long-range program that encourages partnerships between youth and the business sector.
In the short term, reliance on market forces has proven to be unsuccessful. The unemployment rate in Northern Virginia is 1.7 percent. There simply are not enough bodies in the state to meet the technology sector's needs.
The short-term solutions involve recruitment both domestically and internationally. This includes educational, advocacy and recruiting projects. In the international arena, it includes support of a U.S. employment-based immigration policy that facilitates and encourages movement of executives, managers, professionals, skilled workers and others. Both long-term and short-term plans need to be considered. Looking at long-term plans to fill immediate needs serves no purpose and clouds the more serious issues.
LAURA FOOTE REIFF
The writer, an attorney, is chairman of the recruitment to the region subcommittee of the Northern Virginia Technology Council.