By Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump
Today, we were in Charlotte discussing workforce development with local leaders and executives, as well as the new opportunities that this economy has brought to the State and region.
Since the election, President Donald J. Trump’s economy has added almost 6 million jobs across the country. North Carolina has added more than 180,000, dropping from a 5.1 percent unemployment rate to a low of 3.7 percent. Wages are rising across the country and job openings have exceeded the number of unemployed Americans for 14 months straight. With the economy growing at a 3 percent rate, and adding positive job growth each month, now is a great time for the American worker.
With a record 48 States registering unemployment rates below 5 percent, President Trump’s economic agenda is paying off for Americans across the country. There are more opportunities for job seekers, which benefit workers and cause companies to be creative to attract and develop talent through increasing training investments.
Moreover, today’s labor market challenges combined with rapid technological change call for a clear national workforce strategy. Government, business, education, and labor must come together to ensure American workers are prepared for the increasingly high-skilled jobs that companies are creating.
Last year, President Trump created the interagency National Council for the American Worker, tasked with developing and implementing a long-overdue national workforce strategy.
President Trump also created the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, an outstanding group of 25 CEOs, governors, and recognized leaders from education, organized labor, industry associations, and non-profits. We are pleased that Charlotte’s Mayor, Vi Lyles, is among the board members who are meeting today, discussing ways in which companies can educate and prepare local workers for the right jobs.
During our inaugural meeting in March, Mayor Lyles told President Trump that the Board’s work “will provide key pathways, innovations, collaborations” to ensure that everyone in the greater Charlotte area can take advantage of the available economic opportunities.
The Board is preparing recommendations to government, education, and the private sector for promoting multiple pathways to good paying jobs, increasing data transparency to better match workers with jobs, modernizing recruitment and hiring practices, and encouraging employer-led training investments. Employer-led training is an often-invisible cornerstone of our Nation’s worker education and training system.
Companies invest heavily in their workforce. To highlight their diligent work, President Trump established the Pledge to America’s Workers.
So far, the effort has been a resounding success. Since the President’s announcement less than one year ago, more than 250 companies have signed the Pledge and committed to over 9.5 million new opportunities for American students and workers.
North Carolinians have reaped the benefits of the Pledge to America’s Workers. North Carolina’s Honeywell pledged new opportunities for 20,400 workers; and Concrete Supply Co., also of North Carolina, committed to 1,200. Additionally, Siemens, Bank of America, and Boeing, three companies with a significant presence in the Carolinas, have committed to creating more than 200,000 opportunities and household names like Walmart and FedEx have pledged over 1.5 million opportunities across the country.
We want all Americans to have the skills and opportunities to secure good paying jobs and successfully navigate the rapidly changing work environment. Solving today’s skills crisis involves joint efforts like the American Workforce Policy Board that unites business, education, labor, and government.
The President has redoubled his efforts to ensure that hardworking men and women in the United States share in this economic success.
We are honored to join Mayor Lyles, and others, to support American workers. The time is now to redesign education and training for skilled jobs in our country and right here in Charlotte.