June 20, 2017

Trump Signs Apprenticeship Executive Order

The EO rolls back regulations and streamlines the process for employers to offer apprenticeship programs.

Donald Trump is serious about getting Americans back to work, and getting the economy humming again. Last week, Trump took another step in priming the economic pump, when he signed an executive order rolling back regulations on and streamlining the process for employers to offer apprenticeship programs. The order is intended “to expand apprenticeships and vocational training to help all Americans find a rewarding career, earn a great living, and support themselves and their families and love going to work in the morning,” Trump stated. “We will be removing federal restrictions that have prevented many different industries from creating apprenticeship programs.”

This couldn’t come at a better time, with the Labor Department recently reporting that in April there were six million job openings with many of the vacancies being in the manufacturing and health care industries. With the cost of higher education continually increasing and student loan debt doubling to over $1.3 trillion during Barack Obama’s tenure, working toward a vocational skill is not a foolish or short sighted option.

In fact, a brief look at the numbers turns the common assumption on its head. The average starting apprenticeship salary today sits at $60,000. The average starting salary of a college graduate is between $35,000 and $46,000; not to mention all the college loan debt incurred in earning a degree. Much of the commonly available apprenticeship programs tend to be in the manufacturing industry, and Trump is proposing $200 million to promote and broaden the programs across a larger spectrum of the economy.

Critics often worry that specialized vocational skills may become obsolete with greater technological innovation and development, leaving behind people educated in those skills. But this criticism is too near sighted and under appreciative of the ability of people to adjust with an industry as well as the rather low view of the value of work in an individual’s life.

Trump has seen the real value of these apprenticeship programs and at low cost to the government. This is a win for everyone involved.

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