President Donald Trump on Thursday asked American companies to make a "pledge to American workers" by joining in an initiative to "train and retrain more than 3.8 million American students and workers for new jobs and rewarding careers."
"We want every American to have the chance to earn a great living doing a great job that they love," Trump said at the White House. "When they wake up in the morning, they can't get to work fast enough."
The president signed an executive order creating the National Council for the American Worker and a workplace policy advisory board.
The effort seeks to enlist thousands of American businesses, educators, job-training organizations and other groups to the employment effort.
Trump was joined at the event by daughter Ivanka Trump, who is spearheading the White House's workforce development efforts, her husband, Jared Kushner — along with other administration officials, business leaders, and American workers.
"We are asking businesses and organizations across the country to sign our new pledge to America's workers," President Trump said.
He announced 23 companies and associations committed Thursday to expanding apprenticeships for potential workers, including IBM Corp., FedEx, and Lockheed Martin Corp.
"They will sign the pledge, committing to train and re-train more than 3.8 million American students and workers for new jobs and rewarding careers," Trump said.
Noting the nation's falling unemployment rate — to an all-time low of 4 percent last month — the president said "people with training" were needed to fill vacancies in a wide variety of trades and professions.
"There is never been a better time to hire and grow in America," Trump said, noting the nation's workforce grew by more than 600,000 workers last month.
"We are in the longest, positive job-growth streak in American history.
"Every day, we are lifting our forgotten Americans off the sidelines, out of the margins, and back into the workforce," the president continued. "There is nothing like a great jobs market to take care of that situation.
"It is incredible.
"We must invest in job training and vocational education," Trump said. "The fact is that companies are pouring back into our country."
In her opening remarks, Ivanka Trump said "we want to open new pathways for all Americans to secure better jobs and bigger paychecks.
"America's vocational education, whether for high-school students or late-career workers, should be as innovative dynamic and successful as our people."
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