Trump to tout apprenticeships as way to fill jobs gap

Posted June 19, 2017

President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order removing federal restrictions that he says have prevented industries from expanding apprenticeship programs.

Before signing the EO, President Trump said the goal of the order will be to "remov [e] federal restrictions that have prevented many different industries from creating apprenticeship programs".

The order, developed with the help of the Department of Labor, will give businesses, trade unions and other third parties more flexibility to develop "high-quality" technical education programs that could be eligible for expedited review by the Department of Labor, according to an administration official.

The order doubles funding for apprenticeship grants to $200 million by pulling money allotted for existing job-training programs.

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.

The administration, he said, is also empowering companies, unions, industry groups, federal agencies to go out and create new apprenticeships for millions of citizens.

"Apprenticeships place students into great jobs without the crippling debt of traditional four-year college degrees".

One controversial aspect of the executive order is the fact that Trump does not require apprenticeship programs to be registered with the DOL, which now sets program parameters and certifies them to make sure they're in compliance and provide quality training and education.

Officials said the work would be done with a strategic use of available funds from the ApprenticeshipUSA program, which was funded at $90 million this year, and for which Trump has requested the same amount next year.

The executive order is more of a directive and less a dramatic change in administrative policy.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca said Trump is pulling a "bait and switch" by claiming he cares about workers while cutting resources to train them.

Apprenticeship Carolina, a state-run program, develops apprenticeship programs for employers at no cost for them.

Durbin and Trump haven't agreed on much since the president took office, but they do on that point.

Trump was in southeastern Wisconsin to join Walker in a tour of Waukesha County Technical College and talk about the importance of providing on-the-job training to workers in industries that sometimes struggle to find qualified people.

Apprenticeships and job training, by contrast, generate nearly no partisan bickering, and mainstream economists generally approve. Cantwell said, "This bill kicks American apprenticeship into high gear by establishing the first ever national incentive for apprentice programs".

Trump also said he loves the "name Apprentice" - a reference to the reality television show he used to host. "The funding for apprenticeship programs should come from existing job-training funds, as well as from college aid".

We have regulations upon regulations, and in history nobody has gotten rid of so many regulations as the Trump administration.

"NSC hopes to work with the administration to make sure the new system offers the protections and transparency necessary to ensure that new apprentices will receive the necessary wage gains and industry certifications that will put them on a path to a family-supporting career", Andy Van Kleunen, the coalition's CEO, said in a written statement.

Another complication: only about half of apprentices finish their multi-year programs.

President Trump landed at General Mitchell International Airport just before 3:00 p.m. and met with what he called some "victims" of the Affordable Care Act, before giving brief remarks to reporters and roughly 100 invited supporters.