Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the former Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, issued the following statement in support of President Trump'sexecutive order, which seeks to expand apprenticeships to train people for millions of unfilled jobs.
Trump signed an executive order on Thursday to expand apprenticeship programs in an effort to close the skills gap.
Americans are loath to abandon the dream of seeing their kids graduate from college, even if an apprenticeship is more likely to lead to a well-paying job than a four-year liberal-arts degree. "Instead, apprentices earn while they learn", Trump said.
Secretary Acosta said earlier this week business leaders have been eager to work with the administration on workforce development and indicated apprentices are in demand across the labor market. Of the 146 million jobs in the United States, about 3.5 percent - or slightly more than a half-million - were filled by active apprentices in 2016.
The Trump administration feels industry and other entities outside of the government can create and run the programs needed to fill open positions and do it more quickly, cheaply and well, an assertion with which the NRA agrees. The current apprenticeship regulations are complicated and prescriptive so it is anticipated that new Labor Department regulations would be more streamlined and beneficial for all participants. Since 2007, more than 25,000 SC workers have completed apprenticeships; the number of companies participating in the program has increased from 90 to 880.
"The Secretaries of Defense, Labor, and Education, and the Attorney General, shall, in consultation with each other and consistent with applicable law, promote apprenticeships and pre apprenticeships for America's high school students and Job Corps participants, for persons now or formerly incarcerated, for persons not now attending high school or an accredited post-secondary educational institution, and for members of America's armed services and veterans", the executive order stated.
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"The process is simply too hard", the official said, saying Trump and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, will also use "the bully pulpit" that the White House provides to encourage more businesses to create apprenticeship programs. In addition, they receive little or no federal subsidies for their apprenticeship programs. Those programs would then be left to industry to design under broad standards from the Labor Department. The executive order defines an apprenticeship as an "arrangement that includes a paid-work component and an educational or instructional component, wherein an individual obtains workplace-relevant knowledge and skills", a major departure from the existing federal definition, which is much more specific regarding the structure of on-the-job training, and the wage schedule.
Participation in Wisconsin's apprenticeship program in the 16 technical colleges has increased 36 percent since 2013, according to the technical college system's most recent annual report released in January. Add to that, news from NPR that only about a half-million of the nation's 146 million jobs were filled by apprentices past year, and the challenges of the funding issues crystallize. The money would come from existing job-training programs.
The Obama Administration failed to push these programs with the vigor that President Trump and his administration have shown. We stand ready to work with the Trump administration and Congress and create a pathway for Americans to have robust and successful careers.
After the president's health care remarks, he continued his whirlwind trip by visiting Waukesha County Technical College.
Lerman says reducing the requirements for registered programs might make a difference in the number of employers who adopt them.
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