White House: 'Pledge to America's Workers' will create 6M training opportunities
- The Trump administration's Pledge to America’s Workers will create at least 6 million training opportunities, the White House said last week. The Pledge, launched in July, called for stakeholders to sign on; 20 companies and associations did so initially, agreeing to create almost 4 million training opportunities during the next five years.
- Walmart was one of the first, pledging 1 million opportunities; FedEx promised half a million and IBM promised 100,000. Apple, Lockheed, Boeing and the Society for Human Resource Management also signed on at the beginning, and since July more than 100 more have done so, bringing the number above 6 million in less than six months.
- With an Executive Order in July, President Donald Trump created the National Council for the American Worker. The group is tasked with creating a national strategy to assure workers and students are job ready for today’s economy. An advisory board of business, NGO and education leaders provide recommendations to the Council.
When the president's plan was initially rolled out, experts predicted it was only the beginning.
With shifts in immigration enforcement, the administration has focused on prioritizing the needs of American workers over foreign nationals, which has included pushes to train and upskill those who have been (or are at risk of being) displaced. The administration has made good on its promises not only through pushes for training but also through enforcement. The U.S. Department of Justice recently filed its first suit against a business it said defied administration's "hire American" order.
The calls for training have been backed by funding. In August, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the availability of $100 million for training efforts. And a recent push for apprenticeship programming has seen the department add more than $1 million funding to promote apprenticeships for women in non-traditional roles. The Administration’s focus on upskilling American workers may be just in time for business feeling the crush of the lowest unemployment numbers in decades.
Follow Riia O'Donnell on Twitter