President Trump Issues Executive Order on Apprenticeships

Perhaps it was only apropos. This past month, President Trump, former reality show host of The Apprentice, signed an executive order calling for more money and a bigger role by private companies in designing federal apprenticeship programs.

The federal government and many states including California have apprenticeship programs designed to provide a pathway for individuals to enter into the workforce. In California, with limited exceptions, public works project valued at $30,000 or more are required to use apprentices.

President Trump’s executive order calls for roughly doubling, to $200 million, federal funding for apprenticeship programs through existing funding.

The executive order also directs the Secretary of Labor, in consultation with the Secretaries of Education and Commerce, to “consider” adopting regulations permitting private industry groups, including, trade and industry groups, companies, non-profit organizations, unions and joint labor-management organizations, to develop their own apprenticeship programs under broad standards to be set by the U.S. Labor Department.

And, finally, the executive order:

  1. Establishes a Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion within the U.S. Labor Department to “identify strategies and proposals to promote apprenticeships”;

  2. Encourages federal agencies to promote and expand access to apprenticeships;

  3. Establishes an Excellence in Apprenticeship Program to recognize industry leaders who have implemented apprenticeship programs, and

  4. Directs federal agencies to submit apprenticeship program information to the Director of Management and Budget for consideration in developing the President’s 2019 Fiscal Year Budget.

While not expressly mentioned in the executive order, it would appear that the executive order applies to apprenticeship programs on federal construction projects.

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