Capitol Correspondence - 07.23.18

White House Announces Creation of National Council for the American Worker

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On July 19, 2018, the Administration announced the creation of a National Council for the American Worker. The Council will be staffed primarily by the leaders of executive departments and agencies, including Treasury, Education, Veterans Affairs and the National Science Foundation. It will be tasked to “develop recommendations for the President on policy and strategy related to the American workforce, and perform such other duties as the President may from time to time prescribe.” It is meant to develop a national, cross-sector strategy for “empowering American workers.”

Specifically, in its first 180 days the Council is tasked with:

  • Developing a national crisis to bring attention to: “the skills crisis”; the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); opportunities created by emerging technologies; trade and manufacturing; and the importance of re-training workers.
  • Developing a plan to recognize companies that “demonstrate excellence” in best practices.
  • Examining how Congress can assist with implementing the recommendations of the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion.
  • Considering the recommendations of the American Workforce Policy Advisory.
  • Recommending actions to increase the transparency around education and job-training programs.
  • Developing recommendations on how the public sector should engage with the private sector on these issues.
  • And finally, examining the success of public- and private-sector expenditures, including tax expenditures, on “providing Americans with knowledge and skills” and making suggestions on reforms.

The motivation for creating the council is that there “are currently more than 6.7 million unfilled jobs in the United States, and American workers, who are our country’s most valuable resource, need the skills training to fill them.” While the announcement shows more of a focus on STEM and manufacturing industries, ANCOR is remaining alert for opportunities to insert the Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) crisis into the conversation. It will also monitor the Council’s discussions about reforms related to education and jobs training program expenditures. We will keep members informed as more news emerges on the Council.