Apprenticeships — on-the-job opportunities for people to be paid while gaining relevant workplace experience and skill-set instruction — are believed to hold the key to filling some 350,000 open manufacturing jobs and an anticipated surge of millions of new U.S. jobs, including many in infrastructure sectors.
On June 15, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order to promote U.S. apprenticeships. The order called for the creation of a blue-ribbon advisory panel to make recommendations on how to start, build and promote successful apprenticeship programs that can graduate new workers with hands-on job experience and industry-recognized credentials.
The administration’s FY 2019 budget calls for $200 million for apprenticeship programs, “doubling last year’s budget request,” Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, told a Feb. 13 Senate Budget Committee hearing.
Three cabinet officials — Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross — lead the President’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion. Ivanka Trump, a White House senior adviser and Mr. Trump’s daughter, is also heavily involved in the task force’s efforts.
At the panel’s first meeting on Nov. 13, 2017, according to a Department of Labor report, Mr. Acosta, the task force chairman, said Mr. Trump’s priority with respect to labor is “job creation, more job creation, and even more job creation.” Mrs. DeVos, task force vice chairman, stressed the value of “earn and learn” opportunities, while Mr. Ross, also task force vice chairman, said apprenticeships can be an “ideal solution” to address specific skill shortages and to help small businesses find qualified job applicants.
The following business, academic, industry, nonprofit, labor and political leaders are part of the task force, which last met on March 15.
Michael Bellaman, President and CEO, Associated Builders and Contractors
Joshua Bolten, President and CEO, Business Roundtable
Walter G. Bumphus, President and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges
Wesley G. Bush, Chairman, CEO and President, Northrop Grumman Corp.
Dennis Daugaard, Governor of South Dakota
Emily DeRocco, CEO, E3 Engage Educate Employ
Cari M. Dominguez, Principal, Dominguez & Associates
Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Montez King, Executive Director, National Institute for Metalworking Skills
Andrew Liveris, President, Chairman and CEO, The Dow Chemical Co.
Katherine Lugar, President and CEO, American Hotel and Lodging Association
Douglas McCarron, General President, United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America
Sean McGarvey, President, North America’s Building Trades Unions
Marc H. Morial, President and CEO, National Urban League
John Dezso Ratzenberger, Actor and Entertainer
Kim Reynolds, Governor of Iowa
Mark B. Rosenberg, President, Board of Directors, Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities
Joseph Sellers, General President, International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers
Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO, National Restaurant Association
Jay Timmons, President and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers
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