President Trump Signs Executive Order on Workforce Training

President Trump Signs Executive Order on Workforce Training

On Thursday, July 19th, President Trump signed an executive order creating a new National Council for the American Worker, which will be comprised of senior administration officials from the various agencies that oversee workforce development and training programs. The council’s charge is to ensure affordable education and training are more widely available.  This represents part of a larger effort by the Trump Administration to advance apprenticeships.

The National Council will make recommendations to President Trump on workforce policies and strategies. This includes strategies for fostering public-private partnerships, increasing apprenticeship opportunities, and reexamining federal investments in job training. The executive order also calls for an advisory board that will work with the council to provide technical expertise and recommendations to support the council’s mission. The board will be comprised of leaders from business, non-profits, state governments, and institutions of higher education.

In conjunction with the executive order, the administration rolled out a Pledge to America’s Workers that will be signed by businesses expressing their intent to increase the number of available on-the-job training and apprenticeship opportunities. A coalition of businesses, unions and trade groups pledged at the White House to create 3.8 million apprenticeships and job-training opportunities to help students and workers develop skills needed by employers. The administration also plans a nationwide campaign to highlight the skills gap and promote careers in technology and skilled trades.

Although the administration has focused on equipping workers with new skills, it has backed away from funding workforce development programs.  The White House proposed putting $200 million toward apprenticeships in its fiscal 2019 budget, an increase of $55 million from the current funding. But it also proposed more than $1 billion in cuts to grant programs focused on helping train and educate workers.  While this is a positive development for our nation’s workforce training efforts, federal funding remains a critical resource to advance these efforts.

A fact sheet issued by the administration on the executive order can be viewed here.

ACCT President & CEO, J. Noah Brown also issued a statement on the executive order that is available here.