ARLINGTON, Va. — ACCA is getting a boost to one of its top priorities, workforce development, from President Donald Trump and his administration. The president recently embarked on a three-day trip to expand the nation’s use of apprenticeships to fill unmet labor needs and to highlight workforce development issues.

On June 13, President Donald Trump; Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta; Wisconsin Gov., Scott Walker; and presidential advisor, Ivanka Trump, visited and toured Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. The president and his team used the visit to draw attention to the need for America to shift its focus to apprenticeship programs to close the skills gap that is making it hard to fill many jobs in the trades and manufacturing.

On June 15, President Trump signed the Apprenticeship and Workforce of Tomorrow executive order, which will allow more resources to flow to vocational training programs and help remove restrictions that have prevented industries from creating apprenticeships.

ACCA’s Barton James, senior vice president of government relations, was at the event.

“Finding and hiring skilled workers is one of the most critical challenges facing contractors today,” said Don Langston, ACCA chairman of the board and president of Aire Rite Air-conditioning and Refrigeration in Huntington Beach, California. “The HVACR industry is facing a 50,000-plus worker shortage within the next decade if nothing changes, and we continue down a path that ignores the fact that careers in the trades are some of the most stable and well-paying jobs in the country. The support that President Trump and Secretary Acosta gave this week for apprenticeship programs shows that this administration is focused on growing America’s workforce and is committed to the promises that were made during the campaign. Contractors should be encouraged by these steps, because they are opening doors for the next generation of workers to more easily enter into our industry and help grow our businesses.”

ACCA will continue to work with the Trump administration and congress to make workforce development and workforce shortages top priorities for the entire country.

Publication date: 6/22/2017

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