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J-1 Training Visa Programs are 'Apprenticeships' of the New Millennium; AIPT Estimates 5,700 J-1 Trainees in the United States this Year.

Business Editors


According to the Association for International Practical Training (AIPT), Columbia, MD, their J-1 visa trainee programs increased 40 percent in 2000 alone.

The J-1 visa allows foreign workers to train and work in U.S.-based operations for up to 18 months. U.S. businesses from high tech to manufacturing to the fine arts are revising the age-old practice of apprenticeship with a growing--yet relatively unknown--international human resources tool: the J-1 training visa.

"The J-1 training visa allows professionals and students to work in U.S. companies and acquire new skills from U.S. `masters'," said Elizabeth Chazottes, chief executive officer and executive director of AIPT. "In the process, businesses become globally savvy, culturally aware and obtain valuable information on an international market that they may have had little exposure to prior to the J-1 trainees' input."

Currently, about 20,000 J-1 visa corporate trainees, in total, are working in the United States with companies such as Motorola, General Motors, The Parkinson's Institute and IBM.

"Artistic endeavors have always used the apprenticeship method of feeding their pool of skilled worker-artists," added Chazottes of AIPT, whose client roster includes such notable fine art organizations as the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Christophe Landon Rare Violins, Inc., and the Les Metalliers Champenois (ornamental metalworking). "But now general business has discovered that they can also benefit from apprentice-type trainee programs."

Quick facts about AIPT's J-1 training visa program market (as of 2000)
-- Science and engineering, global manufacturers, IT and hotels were some of
the top business segments that hosted J-1 visa trainees.

-- Top training specialties included business administration, hotel management,
computer science and engineering.

-- Countries sending the largest number of trainees under a J-1 visa program to
the United States (in descending order) are France, Germany, The United
Kingdom, Switzerland and Japan.

-- Top countries for Americans training overseas (in descending order) are The
United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland and Brazil.

-- University students account for 45 percent of AIPT J-1 training visa program

-- Professionals, at an average age of 26 years old, account for 55 percent of
AIPT's programs.

-- The male to female ratio of J-I training visa program participants is 7 to

In order to meet the demand for J-1 training visa programs, AIPT has created the first online placement service, called PINPOINT (, which offers companies and HR departments another way to recruit trainees. The user-friendly site links employers with foreign students and professionals interested in U.S. training opportunities. Pinpoint is the largest placement service for the J-1 trainee visa.

More than 170 employers and 300 potential trainees have registered at

The Association for International Practical Training (AIPT) is the largest J-1 visa sponsor of corporate trainees in the United States. AIPT arranges workplace exchanges in 80 professional fields, bringing employers and trainees together from 70 countries around the world. With the talent supplied by AIPT, employers can increase productivity, efficiency and international savvy.

Case Studies

Companies With J-1 Training Visa Programs

Note: For interviews with the following companies, contact:

Suzanne Jackson Robin Baker The ProMarc Agency

The ProMarc Agency PH: 888/361-8262 PH: 202/293-8567 Email: Email:

IBM San Jose, CA Web page:

IBM strives to lead in the creation, development and manufacture of information technologies throughout the world. One division of the $81 billion company, IBM Global Services has grown in just eight years from a $4 billion to a $24 billion business.

To further help and train this international network, IBM relies on AIPT and its technical exchanges. AIPT's program helps IBM with short-term internationally-focused projects that might otherwise not be completed.

IBM has participated in the AIPT training programs in numerous locations: San Jose, CA; Yorktown Heights, NJ; TJ Watson Research Center, CA; Almaden Research Center, CA; Corbeil-Essonnes, France; and Haifa, Israel.

Josephine Cheng, a manager at the San Jose location, states, "The AIPT training program is very worthwhile. IBM has terrific results - both the student and IBM benefit." Students train in numerous departments where they can learn IBM operating systems, interact with IBM services, or design and test new development products. The San Jose location has taken on average 10-15 students who stay approximately eight months.

"AIPT facilitates the process of getting students. Without AIPT, IBM would be unable to have the breadth of training program that it does," finishes Cheng.

International training exchanges can also be the beginning of a career with IBM. Many AIPT students who trained in IBM's U.S. locations subsequently found employment positions in their home countries. The reverse is also true - an American student, who trained at the French location, is now working for IBM in the U.S.

Sun Chemical Cincinnati, OH Web page:

Sun Chemical Group B.V. is the world's largest manufacturer of high quality printing inks and colored organic pigments. With global headquarters in Ft. Lee, NJ, USA, the company owns and operates manufacturing, sales, service and technical facilities throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Sun Chemical family of companies, employing more than 14,500 people worldwide, also includes such well-known names as Kohl & Madden, Coates and U.S. Ink. Sun Chemical Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dainippon Ink & Chemicals Incorporated, Tokyo, Japan, a company that is ranked number 18 among the Fortune 500 companies.

The company has had five J-1 visa trainees from Japan since 1998 located in their Cincinnati, OH, and Northlake, IL, locations.

Sun Chemical J-1 visa trainees learn technical English skills for improved inter-company and intra-company communications and relationships. Depending upon their assignment, trainees have learned the intricacies of the North American organic pigment market and research techniques as well as American manufacturing/processing methods and practices.

"In up to 18 months, we are able to familiarize our J-1 trainees with our way of business," said David Munson a Sun Chemical Corporation, human resources manager. "And, culturally these trainees provide a valuable liaison service between Sun Chemical & Dainippon Ink Chemicals Incorporated (DIC) in Tokyo.'"

Christophe Landon Rare Violins, Inc. New York, NY Web page:

Christophe Landon is a luthier (violin maker), bow maker, dealer of fine Italian instruments and French bows. He also is the maker of the famous "blue violin." Winner of the Gold Medal Kassell in 1983 and the Maurice Vieux Competition in 1986, Landon is one of the most well-known violin makers in the world.

Last year, Christophe Landon Rare Violins had a J-1 visa trainee from Germany for the repair and restoration of musical instruments. Christophe Landon expects to take on more J-1 visa trainees soon.

"The J-1 training visa is a great solution for my kind of business," said Christophe Landon. "Without the J-1 visa we would not have access to the high quality of workmanship in violinmaking from, for example, Germany, France or England. In return, these people have the opportunity to live and work in the United States and have a wonderful experience."

Many other case histories are available by contacting Suzanne Jackson at 888/361-8262 or
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 22, 2001
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