Statement by the Press Secretary on Workforce Development Week
This week the President is placing a strong emphasis on workforce development. Secretaries Alexander Acosta and Betsy DeVos, along with the President’s daughter Ivanka Trump and Reed Cordish with the Office of American Innovation, have been deeply involved in this push. Secretary Acosta addressed this issue this morning at the President’s first meeting with a fully confirmed Cabinet. Secretary Acosta delivered a presentation on the importance of expanding apprenticeships in America and the need for all agencies to support the Administration’s apprenticeship initiative. A memorandum discussing this policy issue, which every member of the Cabinet received at this morning’s meeting, is attached.
“So last week… was infrastructure week. Focusing on the commitment to rebuilding this country, rebuild[ing] rural locations, which have fallen into great disrepair, repair[ing] our waterways, air traffic control. So there were a series of very important and big and far-reaching initiatives on infrastructure. This coming week is about workforce development. … Ultimately, we are really focused on why the American people elected Donald Trump as their president.”
– Ivanka Trump
IVANKA TRUMP: “So last week, while it didn’t get the level of headlines, it will ultimately have a much more impact, was infrastructure week. Focusing on the commitment to rebuilding this country, rebuild rural locations, which have fallen into great disrepair, repair our waterways, air traffic control. So there were a series of very important and big and far-reaching initiatives on infrastructure. This coming week is about workforce development. So with all the noise, with all the intensity of the media coverage….ultimately, we are really focused on why the American people elected Donald Trump as their president.”
AINSLEY EARHARDT, FOX NEWS: “People say jobs, jobs, jobs. That’s why you, your dad, the Secretary of Labor–You are going to Wisconsin tomorrow to visit with kids taking classes at technical schools?”
TRUMP: “We are visiting one of the great examples of skilled based learning and skills based education technical schools in Wisconsin–which we are very excited about–to talk about the skills gap and to really highlight the fact that there is a viable path other than a four-year college experience. … There are 6 million available American jobs. …[W]e’re constantly hearing from CEOs that they have job openings but they don’t have workers with the skill set they need to fill those jobs. Really bridging that gap and bringing experienced based education to the forefront. So apprenticeship, actually, that’s the model.
STEVE DOOCY, FOX NEWS: “Something your dad knows it well.”
TRUMP: “He knows it very well! And it has worked throughout the world and it is something we deemphasized here in favor of four-year traditional college, but they don’t have to be mutually exclusive.”
DOOCY: “As somebody who has run her own business, this something personal to you. I’m sure there have been situations where we love to hire people but we can’t find the people who have the right skill set.”
TRUMP: “It’s true, and while it’s not a woman’s issue, it disproportionately affects women and minorities, especially when you think out into the future where the available jobs today and [where] the future jobs are coming from. A lot of … them are in STEM-related fields, science, engineering, computer science.”
DOOCY: “So teach them today for the jobs of tomorrow?”
TRUMP: “…[W]omen are, for example, … 47% of the overall workforce, we only make up 23% of STEM-related occupations. So, we’re moving in the wrong direction in terms of our participation and that’s something ultimately we need to change. We’ll encourage … K-12, but also retraining for workers whose jobs have been displaced. So we have a huge emphasis on it this week. It’s critically important and I think we can make a very big impact.”
TRUMP: “Yeah, and we need the full participation. So many people are also working jobs that are part-time, and it’s an enormous problem in this country. The number of part-time workers who are working two and three jobs that, collectively, they are making less than when they worked one job that’s been replaced. And they don’t have access to leave for vacation to holidays, to traditional benefits. So that’s another problem we are very much looking address.”
SOURCE: White House