Trump Executive Order Ramps Up Apprenticeship Programs

President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he's signing an executive order to roll back regulations that prevent certain industries from creating apprenticeship programs.

"We are excited about working with the administration to help create more job and career opportunities in the restaurant, food service and hospitality industry through apprenticeship", National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Executive Vice President Rob Gifford said in an NRA news release. The wide-ranging executive order is created to expand apprenticeships and promote effective workforce development programs while identifying ones that do not work in order to better utilize taxpayer resources.

The White House said Mr Trump's push is aimed at training workers with specific skills for particular jobs that employers say they can not fill at a time of historically low unemployment.

Acosta said the policy would revolve around encouraging more partnerships between business and schools rather than increasing the $90 million the federal government now devotes to apprenticeships. "There are millions of good jobs that lead to great careers, jobs that do not require a four-year degree or the massive debt that often comes with those four-year degrees and even two-year degrees".

The new program, which will cost $200 million and take some authority away from the Department of Labor, looks to start filling the 6 million vacant jobs in the United States that are vacant, in part, because job training doesn't match the skills needed.

Trump was to tour Waukesha County Technical College on Tuesday along with Gov. Scott Walker, Ivanka Trump, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta. Companies now have to register with the Labor Department and adhere to government guidelines. The executive order addresses the nation's "skills gap" that have left millions of open jobs unfilled.

While the funding is now limited to about $1,000 per apprentice, Gifford says increased funding and less cumbersome regulations for employers will likely increase utilization of apprenticeships by making it more attractive to employers.

"America must not only teach, but celebrate the skilled laborers that produce and maintain the world's greatest machines, buildings, products and infrastructure", said President Trump. The idea is for students to work at paid internships while they go to school, sometimes with companies footing the bill. They typically involve a combination of mentorship while at work and classroom instruction, usually provided by a community college, over one to six years depending on the type of entrepreneurship.

So-called industry-certified apprenticeship programs would undermine quality apprenticeshipsUndermines the definition of apprenticeship. The Department of Labor, they said, would still judge and approve the programs.

The Obama Administration failed to push these programs with the vigor that President Trump and his administration have shown. If you're really interested in promoting apprenticeships we have to invest in that skills training.

"These third parties may include trade and industry groups, companies, nonprofit organizations, unions, and joint labor-management organizations", the order said.

Democrats say Trump is a hypocrite for touting apprentice programs at the same time his budget cuts funding for worker training.

  • Larry Hoffman