Pittsburgh, PA -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/25/2016 -- Harsha Shirolkar, Seegrid Corp. software developer, Carnegie Mellon University graduate and native of India was featured in Pittsburgh Business Times. Shirolkar is applying for a visa for the second time. When he first submitted in April 2015, he was among 233,000 college graduates hoping to receive one of 85,000 available H-1B visas. He didn't have any luck.
"I really love working here, but if I do not get selected [this year], I'll have to go back to my country," he said. Shirolkar's story is not unique among international students in Pittsburgh and the U.S. as a whole. Thousands of students like Shirolkar come here to study each year and are left with limited options after graduation: return to their native country or apply for a visa while taking advantage of Optional Practical Training, which allows students to work in a job related to their field of study for 12 months. For students in science, technology, engineering and math fields, the period is extended to 29 months.
Ed Henry, CFO at Seegrid, a manufacturer of autonomous pallet trucks and tow tractors, said the company employs three international employees, including Shirolkar. He said hiring from outside the U.S. is a way to remain competitive in a rapidly growing industry. "We have a specialized need in the robotics and automation space," Henry said. "The talent pool is pretty small, and there's a high demand."
As Seegrid continues to grow, Henry expects the number of foreign workers to grow as well. The company emphasizes diversity, he said, but also is looking for the best and brightest in the field — and legal fees and the headache of attempting to secure an H-1B visa are not deterrents.
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Seegrid (http://www.seegrid.com), the pioneer and leader in three-dimensional vision navigation, provides unique and revolutionary automation technology for materials handling. Engineered with state-of-the-art Seegrid Vision, industrial trucks are transformed into the next generation of AGVs: vision guided vehicles (VGVs). VGVs navigate without wires, lasers, magnets, or tape, and deliver unmatched flexibility. Designed for simplicity and reliability, the Seegrid flexible automation solution is offered in a line of pallet trucks and tow tractors.
An award-winning organization, Seegrid is experiencing significant growth both in employees and clients. Multi-billion dollar organizations focused on lean manufacturing best-practices are turning to the Pittsburgh-based robotics leader. From large automotive operations to retail distribution centers, Seegrid VGVs are advancing the reality of a Fork Truck Free approach. VGVs improve workplace safety, reduce equipment and product damage, and deliver a rapid return on investment. Seegrid customers include: Whirlpool, Kahler, Walgreens, Volvo, and 3M.
Follow Seegrid on Twitter at @Seegrid.