U.S. apprenticeships get federal funding boost
President Trump and his adviser Ivanka Trump joined Governor Walker, faculty and apprentices June 13 at Waukesha County Technical College.

Photo By White House

WASHINGTON – A White House program to expand apprenticeships and vocational training, close the skills gap and reduce regulatory burdens on workforce development programs receive support from U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.
“There are six million job openings in the United States,” said Secretary Acosta. “This is the highest number of job vacancies on record. American companies want to hire Americans, and Americans want to work. Apprenticeships teach the skills needed to find good jobs and to succeed in those jobs. Apprentices are a proven pathway to helping businesses find the workers they need, while helping workers launch prosperous careers without the crushing burden of student debt.”
On June 13, President Trump and his adviser Ivanka Trump joined Governor Walker, faculty and apprentices at Waukesha County Technical College. WCTC has a robust woodworking training program and is associated with the Woodwork Career Alliance. President Trump also announced an additional $100 million would be shifted to augment the existing $90 million federal program launched under the Obama administration to support apprenticeships.
President Trump signed the executive order expanding apprenticeship programs and vocational training at the White House.
President Trump signed the executive order expanding apprenticeship programs and vocational training at a White House ceremony that was also attended by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross; Rep. Bobby Scott; Rep. Virginia Scott; the head of the Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon; several governors and a number of apprentices.
The wood manufacturing industry gave Blum USA's apprenticeship program the WMIA Wooden Globe Educator of the Year Award in 2012. Under the Apprenticeship 2000 program supported by other Stanley, North Carolina manufacturers, Blum selects up to four apprentices a year from 30 North Carolina high schools, and from within its own workforce, paying tuition toward an Associate in Applied Science in Manufacturing Technology, and four years of training at Blum’s plant.
The executive order calls on the Secretary of Labor, in consultation with the secretaries of education and commerce, to propose regulations that promote the development of apprenticeship programs by industry and trade groups, nonprofit organizations, unions and joint labor-management organizations. It also directs the departments of Commerce and Labor to promote apprenticeships to business leaders in critical industry sectors, including manufacturing, infrastructure, cybersecurity and health care.
“The U.S. Department of Labor will work expeditiously to execute the president’s vision and begin to implement measures to expand the apprenticeship and vocational training programs that can help our economy thrive, while keeping good, high-paying jobs in America,” Secretary Acosta said. 

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About the author
Bill Esler | ConfSenior Editor

Bill wrote for WoodworkingNetwork.com, FDMC and Closets & Organized Storage magazines. 

Bill's background includes more than 10 years in print manufacturing management, followed by more than 30 years in business reporting on industrial manufacturing in the forest products industries, including printing and packaging at American Printer (Features Editor) and Graphic Arts Monthly (Editor in Chief) magazines; and in secondary wood manufacturing for WoodworkingNetwork.com.

Bill was deeply involved with the launches of the Woodworking Network Leadership Forum, and the 40 Under 40 Awards programs. He currently reports on technology and business trends and develops conference programs.

In addition to his work as a journalist, Bill supports efforts to expand and improve educational opportunities in the manufacturing sectors, including 10 years on the Print & Graphics Scholarship Foundation; six years with the U.S. WoodLinks; and currently on the Woodwork Career Alliance Education Committee. He is also supports the Greater West Town Training Partnership Woodworking Program, which has trained more than 950 adults for industrial wood manufacturing careers. 

Bill volunteers for Foinse Research Station, a biological field station staddling the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland, one of more than 200 members of the Organization of Biological Field Stations.