'Innovative' approach helps upstart Eezy make its mark

Shawn Rubel, who started the online graphics and photo business Eezy as a sideline, has grown it into a company with an international reach.

A recent federal court ruling that rejected a bid by the Trump administration to tighten rules on H-1B visas – significantly curbing U.S. firms’ ability to bring in skilled workers as a result – will be a boon for the tech startup space, Vecteezy founder and CEO Shawn Rubel said.

Rubel, who recently obtained U.S. citizenship after emigrating from Canada in 2004 and moving to Kentucky after college through a visa program, said the move comes at a fortuitous time for his business.

Based in Western Kentucky University’s Center for Research and Development, Vecteezy is a platform for stock images and graphics on the internet, and it’s growing. The firm plans to add 40 employees next year to its current staff of 60, Rubel told the Daily News.

“Personally speaking, it’s been helpful for us. We recently just went through that H-1B visa process with one of our team members, and it was a long, expensive process, but it was totally worth it,” Rubel said. “He’ll be around for several years now on that H-1B, and he’s a fantastic engineer.”

In related news, the federal court ruling fell on the same day as a separate court order mandated that the Trump administration restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which extends deportation protections to undocumented immigrants who were brought into the country as children.

There were 643,560 current DACA recipients as of March 2020, according to figures tracked by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Still, there as many as 3.6 million so-called Dreamers in the country, according to the National Immigration Forum. Many have been locked out of applying for DACA since 2017 when the program was suspended.

When it comes to recruiting up-and-coming talent, Rubel said Vecteezy always looks in Bowling Green first and then looks elsewhere if it can’t find the candidate it’s looking for.

Rubel acknowledged the need for some restrictions on the visa program, adding that “if it was easy and free, things would get out of hand.” However, there are some instances when hiring native-born talent just isn’t realistic, he said.

“The reality is that sometimes it’s just not possible,” Rubel said. “It’s a tricky delicate subject.”

That was what spurred Vecteezy to go through the H-1B visa process for the first time, which Rubel estimated cost more than $10,000 and took at least a year, for one of its latest hires: an Indian engineer who specializes in a technical field the firm previously had a deficit in. Rubel said the new hire came to Vecteezy from WKU and interned at the startup before being hired on as an employee.

“If he continues to grow like he is, he’ll be a leader in our organization one day,” Rubel said.

– Follow education reporter Aaron Mudd on Twitter @NewsByAaron or visit bgdailynews.com.

Education reporter. Covers education and related issues, focusing primarily on the Bowling Green and Warren County public school districts and Western Kentucky University.

(9) comments


Everyone should read the DOJ indictment of Facebook, in the Fake/PERM-fraudulent application process. The PERM process is required in order start the Green Card process, you must say (most companies apparently lie) that you could not find a qualfied American and here are 3 (weak) reasons why this is true. Bear in mind, that if a company accidentally (accidentally because most companies do their utmost to not find any Americans, searh Fake/PERM ads on YouTube), the company can retry (and infinite number of times) to somehow sneek the foreign worker through the PERM process. Thereby creating an illegal alien worker, who was protected from any FREE MARKET competition with local American candidates.

While it doesn't directly involve H-1b. It is a Rosetta Stone for deciphering the reality of tech immigration.

Facebook underwent a 1.5 year Federal audit/investigation of its PERM application process. As we all know, you can't lie to Federal investigators and when they ask for information, you have to provide it. This is critical, because you can lie all you want, in the Press, in video interview, blogs, (apparently even to Congress if you are also a big source of campaign contributions). And Facebook lied everywhere it could elsewhere about not being able to find any qualified local STEM/IT workers. We know this, because the data provided by Facebook's employees (under the threat of an obstruction of justice and/or perjury charge), show that Facebook routinely finds in excess of 30 qualified local STEM/IT workers per single STEM/IT position (out of 200+ resumes recieved).

But if you lie or withhold information from a Federal investigator, your case will be referred to the FBI, who will then have an easy time prosecuting you and then you'll be sent to jail (exactly like Martha Stewart), possibly for several years. Once a case starts, no amount of money can save you from an independent Federal prosecutor. I know this, because at my own company we go through an annual legal mandatory compliance training, for all employees.

So this DOJ indictment, is very credible, because it lists information provided by Facebook employees (in HR for example), that tell us exactly what happens when Facebook has an open-hire STEM/IT position and what happens when Facebook does a Stealth/hidden/bad-faith fraudulent PERM process to protect a foreign worker from local competition.

In open hiring, Facebook recieves 100-200 resumes per STEM/IT position. Of those, typically more than 30 are fully qualified for the single job being offered. Facebook hires one of those 30. And then Facebook ignores the other 29, who Facebook admits they would have hired except for the fact there was only one position.

In the closed/fake/Perm process, Facebook recieves 0-1 local resume. Facebook throws that resume out. Facebook never forwards the 29+, better qualified candidates (by Facebook's own admission to Federal investigators, the open process job was actually for more difficult/advanced work than the closed/Fake perm job process held by the foreign worker).

Facebook then lies on Federal forms by saying it made a "good-faith" effort to find a local candidate. When in fact, by Facebook's own admission to Federal invesigators:

- Facebook ignored the applications of better qualified local candidates

- Facebook refused the Free offer of the San Francisco Chronicle to place the Fake/PERM print ad, also on the Chronicle website (they just had to say "yes", instead of "no")

- Facebook didn't place the Fake/PERM ad on Facebook's own website.

Facebook did this in order to create 2600+ (there are 2600+ counts of this kind of perjury in the Federal indictment) illegal aliens, who were beholden to Facebook until Green Card day (which never comes for some groups). Hey, Facebook committed a Federal crime in order to sneak these workers past our immigration process, hence they are illegal aliens.

Look Americans have the full protection of the 13th amendment (the one that ends slavery and indenturement). People waiting forever for a Green Card, don't have that protection, because if they leave their employer (sponsoring them for the Green Card), they go to the back of the line in the Green Card process.

What is clear to me, is that because of the massive loopholes in our immigration system, our immigration laws have become the de-facto American exclusion acts for STEM and IT positions (There are similar bad loopholes in the H-1b process that prevent an open competition for work, Offshore Outsourcing companies have exploited these and now are taking up more than half the H-1b visas issued). Because employers have always wanted (and will even risk jail time obvious in this Facebook case and obvious in the "no-poaching" scandal), an indentured workforce. The entitlement people speak of, that is all held by our Tech IT companies that simply refuse to deal with real Free Market forces in the U.S. Labor Free Market system.

That immorality cannot be allowed to continue.

Enough Already

Well said.

It is not a surprise their is no rebuttal because there is no justification for this crap except to screw the American worker. Under dumbocrats it will be the norm.

Parameter Estimator

Also, it's not about paying people less than American's. It's about wanting slaveholder-approximate status. Countless Americans, such as myself, would gladly work for LESS than the H1B's get paid. We can leave the job, or refuse to date the boss. The H1Bs can't unless they want to go back to their caste system with no place to live and no huge savings to live, so freeman haters like this guy deliberately import caste sufferers to give them just enough economic liberation to keep their dominion train rolling.

Salmon Ruskie

I learned to code, published apps, and all sorts of effort, but no job for me because I am a white man born in the wrong country. People like this guy are the reason the country has no social fabric to speak of. Everybody's a mercenary and master. It was only a few years ago that I was seeing jobs for H1B only. After I spent all that time learning software development like a moron. What really burns me is that it's people who look like me who are doing everything they can to ensure people who look like me can't have jobs and reproduce. People like this guy better be glad I'm not a paramedic, because if I knew their political economy I would just watch them for the ambulance trip and not do a thing for them.


this guy hires a student from wku who was from India, and u sum how feel like u got burned? Were u entitled to that job because u studied? Boo hoo!!! Sounds like there are many reasons why u can't find a job. Playing the victim won't get u any where in life. good luck.

Enough Already

It is not surprising you missed the point of this thread. You can't even write a reply without it looking like a text from a 12-year-old.

Lance Vandelay

"When it comes to recruiting up-and-coming talent, Rubel said Vecteezy always looks in Bowling Green first and then looks elsewhere if it can’t find the candidate it’s looking for."

The US Census shows that of those college graduates who majored in Computers, Mathematics and Statistics (1,959,730), 50.81% did not hold a job in a STEM field (i.e., Computer Workers, Mathematicians and Statisticians, Engineers, Life scientists, Physical Scientists, and Social Scientists). Of those who majored in Engineering (3,340,430), 50.54% did not hold a job in a STEM field[1].

Are you sure you're trying hard enough?

[1] US Census Bureau, "Census Bureau Reports Majority of STEM College Graduates Do Not Work in STEM Occupations, Release Number: CB14-130", July 10, 2014

Lance Vandelay

“Personally speaking, it’s been helpful for us. We recently just went through that H-1B visa process with one of our team members, and it was a long, expensive process, but it was totally worth it,” Rubel said.

Worth it, indeed. The underpayment of H-1B workers is well-established fact, not rumor, anecdote or ideology. It has been confirmed by two congressionally-commissioned reports, and a number of academic studies in both statistical and qualitative analyses.

An employer survey conducted by the GAO (GAO, 2003) found that some employers readily admitted to paying H-1B foreign workers less than comparable Americans, but noted that they were nevertheless paying the legally required wage (i.e., the "prevailing wage"), thereby illustrating that the latter is indeed below the market wage.

The GAO found that, "some employers said that they hired H-1B workers in part because these workers would often accept lower salaries than similarly qualified U.S. workers; however, these employers said they never paid H-1B workers less than the required wage."[1]

This jibes with a previous employer survey[2], commissioned by Congress, that found, "…H-1B workers in jobs requiring lower levels of IT skill received lower wages, less senior job titles, smaller signing bonuses, and smaller pay and compensation increases than would be typical for the work they actually did."

So two employer surveys, one by the government and the other commissioned by the government, had employers actually admitting to underpaying their H-1B foreign workers. And the GAO shows that the employers admit that the prevailing wage, the legal wage floor for H-1Bs, is a joke. The data in the paper shows the underpayment statistically as well.

[1] GAO-03-883, US General Accounting Office (Sept. 2003).

H-1B Foreign Workers: Better Tracking Needed to Help Determine H-1B Program’s Effects on U.S. Workforce

[2] National Research Council (2001).

Building a Workforce for the Information Economy

Enough Already

This dovetails nicely with the "International Center" bringing in illiterate 3rd world people for the same reason, to pay them less. The attitude of some businesses and congress seems to be, "Screw the American worker." These programs benefit no one except businesses and corporations. When was the last time you saw a sign in one of these places that said, "We have reduced our prices by 40% because we employ foreign workers and legal slave labor"? You don't, because it is always about making more profits but at the expense of Americans. Deport every last one of them!

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