Jul 19, 2018 - Economy

New Trump pledge aims to help workers worried about jobs


Ivanka Trump speaks at a cabinet meeting at the White House. Photo: Olivier Douliery, Pool/Getty Images

Unveiling a "Pledge to America's Workers," President Trump today will launch a White House effort to promote high-tech retraining for workers — preparation for a workplace that'll increasingly be dominated by data and automation.

Why it matters: Workers, particularly in parts of the industrial Midwest where Trump is strong, are rightly worried about the threat to jobs from robots and automation.

  • This is an effort by the White House to use Trump's bully pulpit to push companies to help their employees deal with job insecurity. Governors, mayors and business groups will also be enlisted.

A key goal is retraining workers so they can fill data-economy jobs that are created in their current workplaces, rather than being laid off.

  • Ivanka Trump, who led Trump's Domestic Policy Council in developing the plan, told reporters: "We will be taking this effort outside of D.C. and into classrooms, communities, and businesses in the coming weeks, months, and years."

The White House said Trump will sign an executive order in the East Room, joined by executives from IBM, FedEx and Lockheed Martin and other corporations.

  • The pledge will commit employers to expanding apprenticeships and increasing on-the-job training to help Americans, from high schoolers to retirees, secure stable jobs and careers in the modern economy.
  • Ivanka Trump said the corporate pledges announced today "will represent new commitments to students and to their existing workers," expanding current programs and creating new ones.

The idea was inspired partly by the Giving Pledge, created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett, to encourage billionaires to give more than half of their wealth away.

  • P.S. Wilbur Ross and Ivanka Trump co-hosted a dinner last night to highlight the White House's new workforce endeavor, at Ross’ house in D.C. Guests included Jared Kushner; Ross’ chief of staff, Wendy Teramoto; OMB Director Mick Mulvaney; and top executives of Lockheed Martin, UPS and FedEx.
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