High-tech companies are hoping Congress will soon take up one of the most pressing issues facing the industry: the shortage of skilled workers to fill thousands of vacancies created by the flood of new media businesses.

By some estimates, U.S. businesses need as many as 800,000 workers with high-tech backgrounds, especially in the areas of computer science and engineering. In the last few years, the solution has been to hire foreign workers through the so-called H1-B visa program, which allows non-U.S. citizens with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience to work in the U.S. for three years, with the option to extend it for another three years.