President Trump appears to be getting set to roll back the number of foreign workers high-tech companies can hire for well-paying scientific and engineering jobs here in America. If he doesn’t want to create a shortage of this kind of worker, he needs to invest in the kind of education that produces them. Under current law, a company (e.g., Google, Facebook, Salesforce, Microsoft) must show that it can’t find a qualified American to do the job and that the pay offered is market rate before it can get a visa for a foreign worker. Some companies are likely abusing the law, and its requirements should be aggressively enforced. But the main reason we have so many foreign engineers at companies in the United States is that our schools are failing to graduate enough highly qualified Americans capable of doing the work. If Trump wants to see Americans get the high-tech jobs now going to foreigners, he needs to invest significant federal dollars to support educational programs in science, technology, engineering and math, a/k/a STEM. These are the fields that will prepare students for the jobs companies will be looking to fill. At the moment, companies can save money by outsourcing STEM jobs to places like India and the Philippines, where employees cost less. But it is still true that immigrants have rejuvenated the lifeblood of this country since its inception, and provided the intellectual and economic seed corn that has truly, to repeat a phrase, made this country great. They, along with American-born kids who can’t afford fancy private schools, need a pathway to help keep the nation strong. American high schools can and must do a better job of preparing students for the STEM sector, the first step in a pipeline running through college and into industry. That will mean investing in the infrastructure that the high-school STEM curriculum requires. It also means renewing our faith that our own students, from all communities, have the potential to compete and win on the global stage, if given proper preparation. The case for investment can be seen vividly at Brooklyn Technical HS, the nation’s largest high school, with nearly 6,000 students (and where I head up the Alumni Foundation). The school has been providing students with the most advanced pre-college engineering education for nearly a century. Our graduates include Nobel laureates and fill the top ranks of business, academia, science and government. They discovered evidence for the “Big Bang” that created the universe and played key roles in our space program. They invented the digital camera and count among 20 key individuals credited for the development of the Internet. Trump even picked one, Vincent Viola, class of 1977, for secretary of the Army, though he withdrew from consideration Friday. Notably, Brooklyn Tech’s students are overwhelmingly the children of immigrant, low-income and working-class families. Two-thirds are Title I lunch-eligible. They’re among the city’s best and brightest youth, because they’re admitted based solely on their performance on a competitive exam. While its record is exemplary, the school’s 80-year-old physical plant – which covers a full square city block – has not been kept in good repair. Worse, the building hasn’t been regularly upgraded to keep up with the cutting-edge technologies needed to provide a top-notch STEM education. Alumni have donated more than $30 million to support the school, but the building’s needs can only be fully met through public funding. A recent study commissioned by the Alumni Foundation found that it would require $300 million to modernize the building and turn it into a modern vertical campus. Replacing the school altogether would cost even more. Brooklyn Tech was nearly closed in the 1950s, but the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik led national policy makers to recognize the importance and strategic value of the kind of STEM-based education it offered. Under President John F. Kennedy, the nation made a commitment to science and math education that paid off big when we won the space race. Today, our need to compete in the world and provide Americans with the good jobs offered by STEM careers is no less demanding. For the sake of tomorrow’s kids and the nation’s future, the administration would be wise to devote an appropriate share of its planned infrastructure budget to upgrading STEM high schools and the education they provide.