Workforce development the White House order of the day

Associated Builders and Contractors is among 20-plus charter signatories to “Pledge to America’s Workers,” supporting a White House initiative, National Council for the American Worker, that President Donald Trump created by Executive Order. The Council is charged with developing a strategy for training and retraining workers across high demand industries.

Public and private sector participants commit to creating new opportunities through apprenticeships, work based learning, continuing education and on-the-job training. Among those on hand for a White House gathering to sign the Pledge were officials from ABC, Associated General Contractors of America, National Association of Home Builders, North America’s Building Trades Unions and American Trucking Associations, plus FedEx, Home Depot and IBM. Initial signatories will pursue training and development of 3.8 million employees over the next five years.

A White House briefing notes that the Council will:

  • Provide a forum for the development of a national strategy to address urgent workforce issues;
  • Develop a national campaign to raise awareness of workforce issues, such as the urgency of the skills crisis and the importance of science, technology, engineering and math education;
  • Create a plan for recognizing companies that demonstrate excellence in workplace education, training, retraining policies, and workforce investment;
  • Help expand the number of apprenticeships and encourage increased investment in training and re-training American workers;
  • Recommend a specific course of action for increasing transparency related to education and job-training programs, and propose ways to increase available job data; and,
  • Consider and implement the recommendations of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, which will draw upon the knowledge and expertise of leaders from outside government for perspective on improving the country’s education and training, while playing an important role in encouraging the private, education, and not-for-profit sectors to commit to investing in and retraining their workers.

“ABC is proud to join the White House in pledging to develop and support generations of skilled craftsmen and women who are building America,” says Vice President of Environment, Health, Safety and Workforce Development Greg Sizemore. “There are currently 500,000 open positions in the construction industry alone, a number which will continue to grow if we don’t join forces to expand registered and industry-recognized apprenticeship programs to fill skills gaps.”