During an event at the White House, President Trump announced commitments from private companies to create jobs for students and mid-career workers and provide training and retraining to more than 3.5 million people over the next five years, while signing an executive order to create a council focused on the issue of workforce training. Among the twenty three companies and associations signing the pledge include: Aerospace Industry Association, American Hotel and Lodging Association, American Trucking Association, Association of Builders and Contractors, Association of General Contractors, FedEx, Advanced Electronics Association, General Motors, The Home Depot, IBM, The Internet Association, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, National Association of Homebuilders, National Restaurant Association, National Retail Federation Northrup Grumman, Raytheon, SHRM, UPS, Walmart, and trade unions. Local Goodwill® organizations stand ready to work with these organizations (many of whom are current partners) as they work toward their goals of filling new job opportunities and training or retraining employees.
The Executive Order establishes a National Council for the American Worker composed of senior Administration officials. According to a press release, the Council will:
- Develop a national campaign to raise awareness of workforce issues, such as the urgency of the skills crisis and the importance of STEM education;
- Create a plan for recognizing companies that demonstrate excellence in workplace education, training, retraining policies, and workforce investment;
- Help expand the number of apprenticeships and encourage increased investment in training and re-training American workers; and
- Recommend a specific course of action for increasing transparency related to education and job-training programs, and propose ways to increase available job data.
The executive order also creates an American Workforce Policy Advisory Board to be comprised of leaders from the private sector, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations, and state governments. The Board will provide recommendations for the Council to consider and implement as appropriate.
Nonprofit job-training providers and the government at all levels should be considered key partners in these conversations as well. While the administration is calling on commitments from the public sector, strong public investments to be leveraged by organizations providing workforce development and job-training opportunities around the country are needed to be truly successful in equipping workers with the skills needed to thrive in the modern economy.
Through our advocacy efforts including working with the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce and our membership with the National Skills Coalition, Goodwill Industries International has educated Congress about the value of these federal investments and opposed the consolidation or elimination of key workforce development programs. We look forward to continuing this work and sharing the expertise of the 155 local Goodwill organizations in training millions of American workers with the council and advisory board.