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President Trump: Out-of-Work Americans Can Earn While They Learn

President Donald Trump launched his nationwide apprenticeship jobs program Thursday with the aim of quickly filling more than 6 million job openings that require on-the-job training.

The "Earn As You Learn" program is the brainchild of his daughter and adviser, Ivanka, as well as Reed Cordish of the Office of American Innovation, which is led by her husband, Jared Kushner. In a nutshell, the order provides the government will encourage the development of more affordable means to secure high paying jobs by promoting apprenticeships and effective workforce development programs. This will include reducing the regulatory burdens on those programs, while eliminating taxpayer support for existing programs deemed ineffective.

Click here to read the entire order.

"We will be removing federal restrictions that have prevented many different industries from creating apprenticeship programs," the president said prior to signing the order. "We have regulations on top of regulations. And in history, nobody has gotten rid of so many regulations at the Trump administration.

"And that's one of the reasons that you see the jobs and the companies all kicking in so strongly. I think some very good numbers are going to be announced, by the way, in the very near future as to GDP.

"So we're empowering these companies, these unions, industry groups, federal agencies to go out and create new apprenticeships for millions of our citizens. Apprenticeships place students into great jobs without the crippling debt of traditional four-year college degrees. Instead, apprentices earn while they learn—which is an expression we're using:  Earn while you learn."

See the entire signing ceremony in the video clip above.

"There are 6 million job openings in the United States," Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta said. "This is the highest number of jobs on record. In a Business Roundtable survey of CEOs released just last week, 95 percent of executives reported difficulty finding qualified employees.

"Americans want to work; American companies want to hire. The available jobs, however, do not match the prospective employees' job skills. This skills gap is a particular challenge in some of the fastest growing sectors of the economy: financial services, health care and information technology.

"The skills gap also persists in other sectors. For example, there are 360,000 job vacancies in manufacturing. There are also 200,000 available construction jobs, and with President Donald Trump's forthcoming investment in infrastructure, that number will, in all likelihood, increase substantially."

Acosta said those who complete an apprenticeship program, on average, earn a starting wage of more than $60,000 per year, which is much higher than the average starting wage of traditional college graduates. Nearly 9 out of 10 are employed upon completing their apprenticeships, yet apprentices make up only 0.3 percent of the American workforce, with large-scale apprenticeship programs largely limited to the construction sector.

"Throughout his career, President Trump has seen firsthand the success of apprenticeship programs in the building trades," he added. "Throughout his campaign, as he met with a countless number of Americans, President Trump repeated his commitment to expand job opportunities here in America. Apprenticeships will be one of the ways that President Trump will deliver on his commitment.

"The president knows that apprenticeship programs offer demand-based skills and good, stable jobs with reduced or no student debt. And the president knows that apprenticeship programs offer the best way of reducing the skills gap."

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