Jul 19, 2018

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.

Go deeper

Trump: "This is going to be a very painful two weeks"

President Trump said at a press briefing on Tuesday that the next two weeks in the U.S. will be "very painful" and that he wants "every American to be prepared for the days that lie ahead," before giving way to Dr. Deborah Birx to explain the models informing the White House's new guidance on coronavirus.

Why it matters: It's a somber new tone from the president that comes after his medical advisers showed him data projecting that the virus could kill 100,000 to 240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 850,583 — Total deaths: 41,654 — Total recoveries: 176,714.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in confirmed cases. Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 184,183 — Total deaths: 3,721 — Total recoveries: 6,043.
  3. Business updates: Should you pay your rent or mortgage during the coronavirus pandemic? Find out if you are protected under the CARES Act.
  4. Public health updates: More than 400 long-term care facilities across the U.S. report patients with coronavirus — Older adults and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk, new data shows.
  5. Federal government latest: The White House and other institutions are observing several models to better understand and prepare cities for when the coronavirus is expected to peak in the U.S.
  6. U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt: Captain of nuclear aircraft carrier docked in Guam pleaded with the U.S. Navy for more resources after more than 100 members of his crew tested positive.
  7. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

Subscribe to Mike Allen's Axios AM to follow our coronavirus coverage each morning from your inbox.

Paying rent in a pandemic

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

For many people who've lost jobs or income because of the coronavirus pandemic, tomorrow presents a stressful decision: Do you pay your rent or mortgage?

Why it matters: The new CARES Act that was signed by President Trump on Friday protects homeowners and renters who are suffering from the response to the coronavirus pandemic — but it's not “a one-size-fits-all policy rulebook,” a congressional aide tells Axios.