the WHITE HOUSEPresident Donald J. Trump

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

President Trump Leads on Workforce Development

“We want to make sure that we have the workforce development programs we need to ensure these jobs are being filled by American workers.” –President Donald J. Trump

AMERICAN WORKERS LEFT BEHIND: Many American workers are being left behind as current education and training programs fail to equip them with the skills they need. Apprenticeships will not only keep jobs in America, but ensure that American workers and trained and hired to fill those jobs.

  • Despite many available job vacancies, millions of American workers do not have the opportunity to gain the skills necessary to thrive in a 21st century economy.
    • There are 6 million vacant jobs in the United States, the highest number since 1980.
    • According to a 2014 Georgetown University study, by 2020, some form of education or training beyond high school will be required for 65 percent of all jobs.
  • Instead of getting the skills needed to meet new opportunities, Americans are being left with a pile of debt and, in too many cases, no direct pathway to a stable job.
    • Total student loan debt in the United States is now over $1.4 trillion.
    • The average student loan debt, for students graduating with debt in the class of 2016, is over $30,000.
    • Of total aggregate student loan debt, over 11 percent was over 90 days delinquent or in default.
    • Only 11 percent of employers strongly agree that America’s institutions of higher education are teaching graduates the skills their companies need.
  • Many Federal job-training programs are falling short.
    • In fiscal year 2017, the Government funded 43 job-training programs across 13 agencies, totaling $16.7 billion, not counting Pell grants. However, many of these programs do not work and must be reformed.

OPPORTUNITY FOR AMERICAN WORKERS: President Donald J. Trump is providing opportunity for Americans to gain skills needed to succeed and thrive as the economy grows.

  • President Trump recognizes the value of skill-focused education and is taking steps to create more options for Americans.
  • The Executive Order he is signing today takes important steps to expand apprenticeships and improve job-training programs. The Executive Order:
    • Responds to the desire of third-party groups to create more flexible apprenticeship programs and directs the Department of Labor (DOL) to allow companies, trade associations, and unions to develop their own “industry-recognized apprenticeship” guidelines, which DOL will review for quality and then approve.
    • Directs DOL to use available funding to promote apprenticeships, especially in sectors where apprenticeships are not currently widespread.
    • Creates a task force that will recommend ways to promote apprenticeships.
    • Requires all Federal agencies to review and evaluate the effectiveness of their job training programs, and consider how to best consolidate certain programs for increased accountability.
  • Expanding access to apprenticeships will provide American workers with more options and opportunities to get an affordable education and a well-paying job.
    • DOL data shows that over 90% of apprentices find employment after completing their program, and their average starting wage is $60,000 annually.
    • Graduates of apprenticeship programs see a $300,000 lifetime increase in earnings, without the burden of student loan debt.
  • Congress must act to make it easier for Americans to access education that is affordable, teaches relevant skills, and leads to good jobs.
    • Having a degree is not enough; Americans need an education that equips them with the tools to succeed.
    • Job training and higher education programs should be evaluated and reformed to ensure Federal dollars are available for Americans to spend on the courses, programs, and pathways that lead them toward a stable job and a higher paycheck.

A PROMISE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE: President Trump is fulfilling his promise to the American people to provide opportunities to succeed as jobs are coming back to the country.

  • On March 17, President Trump said:
    • “We’re training people as the jobs are pouring back in – and they are coming back in big league.”
    • “We must embrace new and effective job-training approaches, including online courses, high school curriculums, and private-sector investment that prepare people for trade, manufacturing, technology, and other really well-paying jobs and careers.”
  • On September 26, 2016, then-candidate Trump said:
    • “Skilled craftsmen and tradespeople and factory workers have seen the jobs they loved shipped thousands of miles away. Many Pennsylvania towns once thriving and humming are now in a state despair. This wave of globalization has wiped out our middle class. It doesn't have to be this way. We can turn it all around— and we can turn it around fast.”
    • “It will be American hands that remake this country, and it will be American energy - mined from American resources - that powers this country. It will be American workers who are hired to do the job.”