On Thursday, while the MSM continued its focus on trying to spin Robert Mueller’s testimony into something other than a disaster, an event of real significance was taking place at the White House that was largely ignored by the same MSM. President Trump and Ivanka Trump hosted a gathering to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Pledge to American Workers.
The Pledge, an initiative driven in large part by Ivanka, was created for the purpose of getting companies to commit to create opportunities for American workers through apprenticeships, education, and on-the-job training. It has been an incredible success with over 330 companies having made the pledge and committing to more than 12 million opportunities for American students and workers.
The companies that are participating vary in size and industry. They include names like Salesforce, The National Association of Manufacturers, Amazon, and Toyota. There are also many other companies that are not household names. Regardless of their size or their industry, each one of them is addressing a need that had been identified prior to the President taking office.
In 2015, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an economic group formed in 1961 with 36 nation-members, issued a report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education. The report titled, Time for the U.S. to Reskill? served as the foundational material for the DOE’s own report, Making Skills Everyone’s Business. The findings were both enlightening and disturbing.
The report noted that 36 million adult Americans (ages 16-65) are low-skilled in terms of literacy, numeracy, and problem-solving abilities required for employment. In that age range, 17.5% were reported as having low literacy skills. Of the 36 million, 24 million were reported as being employed but without the necessary skills required to advance. Minority and immigrant populations were more adversely impacted than were the general population.
Enter the Trump administration, Ivanka Trump in particular, and the Pledge. This is a meaningful campaign to encourage private industry to step up and hold themselves accountable for addressing a problem that they have helped to create. America is the wealthiest nation and the greatest economic power in history. There has always been the financial means available within the private sector to commit to training their own workers. Up until this time, the approach has been to just look toward government for “job training programs” funded by tax dollars.
The rhetorical question that comes to mind is why would we let the government be in charge of job training when very few people within government are capable of performing in any private sector job?
The Pledge placed the burden where it belongs; the private sector. While it isn’t the exclusive cause for the strong economy that we have seen under this President, it is one of many contributing factors and can be directly traced to an approach that emphasizes business over bureaucracy.
Under this President, the economy has been improving in a manner that must seem inexplicable to Barack Obama, who had warned us that the U.S. economic slide into mediocrity was to be the “new normal.” Over six million new jobs have been created since the President was elected, including over one million new manufacturing, engineering, and construction jobs. The unemployment rate currently sits at 3.7%, a near record low, with the measure for both Blacks and Hispanics sitting near their record lows achieved under this administration.
Economic growth reached nearly three percent during 2018, making it a very robust year. While the Lord might work in mysterious ways, the causes of economic growth are transparent and obvious.They come from businesses having a friendly environment in which to invest and produce, and from them having a workforce that is able to fulfill the demand for product and services. Beyond the Pledge, this Administration has also signed or supported:
- The first Perkins Career and Technical Education reauthorization since 2006 sending more than $1 billion to States each year to fund vocational and career education programs. This benefits over 11 million students
- An executive order expanding apprenticeships in America. Since January 2017, more than 500,000 people have entered apprenticeship programs registered with the Department of Labor or its state counterparts
- Increased opportunities for women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields
- Executive orders promoting training and job development in emerging fields like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence
- Creation of The National Council for the American Worker to develop a strategy on training American workers for high-demand industries
The tactics of this Administration cannot be separated from the economic results, no matter how hard the MSM might try.
CBS News covered the Pledge White House event Thursday with the following qualifier:
Those companies have pledged to offer new opportunities for American students and workers, but the administration can’t force them to follow through on that promise, and there are few mechanisms in place to ensure those opportunities come to fruition.
Anything market-based and not government-mandated will at best be received with skepticism from the MSM. Anything offered as an initiative by Ivanka and supported by this President will meet with outright ridicule.
I’m certain that American workers and businesses are please that Ivanka and the president are willing to ignore both of the above while continuing to pursue policies that make American workers great again.