U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) on Tuesday released this statement after the White House announced that Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President, will visit Lewis and Clark Community College with Davis on Wednesday. They will tour the welding facility and participate in a workforce development roundtable. Ivanka Trump is a member of the National Council for the American Worker and the Department of Labor (DoL) Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion.
“Congress and the administration have been working to improve both private and public workforce training opportunities throughout the country. Ivanka is helping lead these efforts from within the White House so we wanted to invite her to Lewis and Clark Community College to see their premier welding and technical education programs and also hear from employers in Central and Southwest Illinois about their workforce initiatives. We want to work with employers and community colleges to ensure we have a workforce prepared to fill the jobs being created by this new economy. You don’t have to have a four-year degree to be successful in this country and for too long, we’ve overlooked technical education and the opportunities apprenticeships can provide. Ivanka’s visit to Lewis and Clark will not only be historical, but it shows that we are no longer ignoring these critical opportunities and instead, working to improve them on a national level,” said Davis.
“Lewis and Clark is pleased to be the selected as the site for the Workforce Roundtable organized by Congressman Davis and the White House featuring Ivanka Trump,” said Dr. Dale Chapman, President, Lewis and Clark Community College. “Lewis and Clark is a leader in workforce education, and we are honored to be recognized as such.”
Legislation reforming Career and Technical Education (CTE) signed into law
Recently, the President signed into law the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which provides funding and flexibility for states to offer programs promoting career and technical education, refocuses those programs on student outcomes to ensure they are prepared to enter the workforce, and enhances skills training to match the jobs that are available in a 21st century economy.
Workforce development within the Farm Bill
Additionally, Davis supported historic investment in SNAP Employment and Training programs in the House-passed version of the farm bill. These workforce training provisions will help provide funding to ensure there is an E&T spot available for every SNAP recipient who wants one. Davis has been appointed to serve on the conference committee tasked with resolving the differences between the House and Senate farm bills.
Helping TANF recipients find employment
Last year, Davis voted for H.R. 2842, the Accelerating Individuals into the Workforce Act to encourage employers to hire those receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits by allowing states to subsidize up to 50 percent of their wages. This bill passed 377-34 and awaits Senate action.
Davis’ bill to increase apprenticeships
Davis introduced the LEAP Act, which would incentivize more businesses to have apprenticeship programs by offering a federal tax credit for hiring individuals participating in apprenticeship programs registered through the U.S. Department of Labor or reciprocal state agencies.
Pledge to America’s Workers
President Trump signed an executive order establishing the President’s National Council for the American Worker and the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. Companies are signing a Pledge to America’s Workers, committing to expand programs that educate, train, and reskill American workers from high-school to near-retirement age.
Objectives of the council are:
Develop a national campaign to raise awareness of workforce issues, such as the urgency of the skills crisis and the importance of STEM 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.