Originally created 02/09/00

Business briefs: Silicon Valley wants more foreign labor



WASHINGTON -- High-tech companies, desperate for workers amid a booming economy, want to hire more foreigners and are pushing Congress to expand an immigration program that will let them do just that.

Congress temporarily expanded the program in 1998, increasing the number of six-year visas from 65,000 to 115,000 per year. Labor contends the foreign workers are unneeded and underpaid at the high-tech jobs. In the House, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., has proposed creating a new visa for international college graduates in scientific fields who are paid at least $60,000 per year.

Group plans homebuyer workshop

The East Central Georgia Homeowner Partnership will present a free first-time homebuyer workshop Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the multipurpose room of Peabody Apartments at 1425 Walton Way.

The U.S. Housing and Urban Development-affiliated agency will offer how-to presentations from lenders, real estate agents, consumer credit counselors, attorneys and home inspectors. The event is open to everyone. To register, call Donna Lovelace at (706) 860-4200.

Cisco splits stock in earnings boost

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Cisco Systems beat Wall Street forecasts again with its latest quarterly results, posting a 53 percent increase in sales as businesses and governments snapped up equipment to conduct commerce on the Web.

The company, which also announced another stock split, reported Tuesday that operating income rose to $906 million, or 25 cents a share, in its second quarter ended Jan. 29.