Trump orders more cash, industry input, for apprenticeships

Posted June 22, 2017

There's evidence of bipartisanship at least for the idea of apprenticeships.

"Trump's aides said the executive order will make it easier for businesses to operate their own unique apprenticeship programs, cutting back red tape", Politico reports.

Federally funded apprenticeship programs now have to receive certification from the Labor Department and the executive order allows companies to essentially monitor themselves. The order also proposes to double the amount of money designated for apprenticeship grants from $90 million to almost $200 million per year. "We have regulations on top of regulations, and in history no one has never gotten rid of so many regulations as the Trump administration".

"Apprenticeships create more affordable education and job training, especially for those Americans who want to work in the hospitality, restaurant and foodservice industry", NRA President and CEO Dawn Sweeney said in the organization's news release. Apprenticeships would give students a way to learn skills without the crippling debt of four-year colleges, and expand those opportunities to women, minorities and other populations underrepresented among the nation's roughly 505,000 apprentices. The executive order would leave it to the industry to design apprenticeships using broad standards that will be set by the Labor Department.

Federally funded job-training programs are also ineffective, the order says, and those that don't work should be reformed or eliminated.

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As expected, the executive order calls for the creation of a federal task force to help promote apprenticeships.

"We are here to today to celebrate the dignity of work - it's really a good term, dignity of work - and the greatness of the American worker, which I have been celebrating for a long time", Mr. Trump said.

The president toured Waukesha County Technical College, where he was joined by Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Governor Scott Walker.

Additionally, critics argue Trump's executive order will likely not have adequate funding to succeed because the president has already pushed for slashing federal job training funding in half.

Democratic lawmakers and a union leader say President Donald Trump's visit to Wisconsin to tout apprenticeship programs is a hypocritical photo opportunity given that his budget proposal would cut funding for worker training. Former Republican president George H.W. Bush proposed a youth apprenticeship program in 1992, writing that "the time has come to strengthen the connection between the academic subjects taught in our schools and the demands of the modern, high-technology workplace" (Congress voted against it).

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"We're empowering these companies, these unions ... to go out and create new apprenticeships for millions of our citizens ..."

LDI Industries always struggled with larger companies poaching its workers for slightly higher pay, but saw investing in apprenticeship programs as a way to attract and retain more workers, said John Lukas, the company's vice president of manufacturing.

Is Trump actually expanding the apprenticeship program?

Together with the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), the NRAEF launched the Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship project.

"This skills gap is a particular challenge in some of the fastest growing sectors of the economy: financial services, health care and information technology".

Before exiting Air Force One, Trump spoke to the two families he said face high medical insurance premiums under the current federal health care law.

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