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President Donald J. Trump is Building a Stronger American Workforce

March 22, 2018

"Today's apprentices will construct the roads and bridges that move our citizens, they will bend the metal and steel that shape our cities, and they will pioneer the new technology that drives our commerce." – President Donald J. Trump

AMERICA NEEDS A STRONG WORKFORCE: Americans do not have sufficient access to high-quality education and workforce-development programs, causing too many jobs to remain unfilled and making it difficult for many businesses to grow.

  • American workers have been left behind and jobs have been left unfilled due to insufficient access to skills-development and education programs.
  • An increase in infrastructure investment will spur new projects that will further boost labor demand in infrastructure sectors, and in the broader economy.
  • There are 6.3 million job openings in the United States, the highest number on record.
    • There are 250,000 job openings in the construction industry.
    • There are 427,000 job openings in manufacturing.
    • There are 305,000 job openings in transportation, warehousing, and utilities.
  • According to a February 2018 survey of small business owners by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB): "22 percent of owners cited the difficulty of finding qualified workers as their Single Most Important Business Problem."
    • The survey also found that: "…90 percent of those hiring or trying to hire reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill."
  • 65 percent of all jobs will require some education or training beyond high school by 2020, according to a 2014 study by Georgetown University.

EMPOWERING AMERICAN WORKERS: President Trump's infrastructure proposal will help prepare our workers for the jobs of today and tomorrow, generating greater economic opportunity for more Americans.

  • The President's proposal for rebuilding infrastructure in America includes critical reforms to improve access to high-quality education and workforce-development programs.
  • The proposal would expand Pell Grant eligibility to high-quality, short-term programs that lead to a credential or certification in a high-demand field, helping Americans who want a well-paying job get one more quickly.
    • Currently, Pell Grant recipients cannot use their grant dollars for short-term programs.
  • The President's proposal would reform the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education (CTE) program so that more students have access to skills-focused education.
    • Congress must improve the CTE program so participants are better prepared to fill jobs in high-demand fields and so more funds go to programs which are in line with local workforce needs.
  • The proposal calls for several reforms to the Perkins CTE program that would:
    • Direct the majority of CTE high school funding to promote strategies such as expanding apprenticeships, work-based learning, and dual-enrollment opportunities.
    • Promote STEM and CTE offerings in high schools.
    • Strengthen the emphasis on evidence-based research.
    • Authorize funding for fast-track programs that prepare high school students for infrastructure jobs.
  • President Trump's proposal would reform the Federal Work Study program to better distribute aid and ensure more participants gain relevant workplace experience.
    • These reforms would increase the program's focus on quality two-year programs that promote workforce readiness.

PROMOTING GREATER OPPORTUNITY AND PROSPERITY: The President's proposal for rebuilding infrastructure in America will further his Administration's commitment to promoting economic opportunity.

  • Providing greater access to quality education and skills-development programs will help American workers fill needed, well-paying jobs.
  • Workforce development programs, such as apprenticeships, have a proven track record of providing economic opportunity for American workers.
    • According to Department of Labor data, over 90 percent of participants gain employment after completing apprenticeship programs and receive an average starting wage of $60,000.
    • Without the burden of student loan debt, apprenticeship program graduates see a $300,000 lifetime earnings increase.
  • In June 2017, the President signed an Executive Order to expand access to apprenticeships and workforce-development programs, which:
    • Directed the Department of Labor to use available funding to promote apprenticeships.
    • Directed the Secretary of Education to support efforts by community colleges and two-year and four-year institutions to incorporate apprenticeship programs into their curricula.
    • Established a Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion to identify ways to promote apprenticeships.

Donald J. Trump, President Donald J. Trump is Building a Stronger American Workforce Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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