President Trump talks health care upon arrival in Milwaukee

Cheryl Sanders
June 19, 2017

President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order that seeks to expand apprenticeships, in part by opening the door to alternative education providers and giving industry groups a more active role with the federal apprenticeship program.

"These third parties may include trade and industry groups, companies, nonprofit organizations, unions, and joint labor-management organizations", the order said. The order will expand money spent for apprenticeship grants to nearly $200 million annually from $90 million, according to the political news website. Apprenticeships would give students a way to acquire new skill without having the crippling debt that often comes with a degree from four-year college.

The National Restaurant Association and its educational foundation have been pushing for more love from the feds for apprenticeships and this week they got their wishes, when President Trump signed an executive order the NRA said both expands and streamlines the nation's apprenticeship programs. "If there are companies that don't want to do all the paperwork, I can do it", says Rebecca Lake, dean of workforce and economic development at the college.

How many people participate in apprenticeship programs?

"America must not only teach, but celebrate the skilled laborers that produce and maintain the world's greatest machines, buildings, products and infrastructure", said President Trump.

The Trump Administrations budget slashes support for federal job training by 40 percent for disadvantaged adults, dislocated workers, and at-risk youth, ends the Senior Community Service and Employment Program for 67,000 low-income older Americans, and closes Job Corps Centers across the country.

We're joined today by apprentices who know first-hand how these programs can bring new hope and new opportunities.

Walker went on to endorse Trump for president and after Tuesday's technical college tour the president planned to host a $1,000 per-person fundraiser for Walker's re-election campaign. 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.

Historically, job training programs had a bad legacy. The aim is to present a fix to a big USA problem: job skills.

Apprenticeships aren't just great for the apprentices who are learning these important skills - they are good for the businesses who offer apprenticeship programs as well.

It's possible Trump could cut and even kill federal job-training programs-which aren't universally viewed as effective-while finding better ways to address the skills mismatch preventing workers who need jobs from filling jobs that are actually open.

Another complication: only about half of apprentices finish their multi-year programs. Amazon (AMZN), which now offers a "career-choice" training program, expects its level of participants to double by the year 2020, according to Dave Clarke, the company's SVP of Worldwide Operations.

Nationally, disapproval of Trump's handling of the presidency hit a new high of 60% in the most recent Gallup daily tracking poll, completed on Monday.

"There are 6 million vacant jobs in the United States, the highest number since 1980", it said, adding that according to a 2014 Georgetown University study, by 2020, some form of education or training beyond high school will be required for 65 per cent of all jobs.

Though the USA government has regulated and certified apprenticeships since 1937, former President Barack Obama's administration actively promoted the practice.

The additional approval channel would not eliminate the Department of Labor from the process, the White House officials said, but rather create a dialog between Labor officials and entities with on-the-ground expertise.

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