The Department of Labor (DOL) named the members appointed to the agency’s Task Force On Apprenticeship Expansion on Monday to deregulate apprenticeship programs.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order in June for Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta to assemble a task force, which Acosta would chair, to reform and expand apprenticeship programs through deregulation and turning oversight over to private third parties.
“Expanding apprenticeships will help Americans learn the skills they need to fill jobs that are open right now and in the future,” Acosta said in a statement. “I am pleased to see business leaders, unions, educational institutions, and industry groups come together to help the American worker.”
The council includes two other administration officials serving as vice chairs: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
The body of the council is composed of representatives from businesses, labor unions, trade groups, and the governors of South Dakota and Iowa.
Trump’s June executive order also more than doubles federal funding for apprenticeship programs from $90 million to $200 million a year, Politico reports.
The funds will be drawn from fees companies pay to bring in foreign workers. How much those funds will add, however, is unclear as some of the fees are already allocated towards apprenticeship programs, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Critics of Trump’s executive order say turning apprenticeship oversight over to private companies will result in waste and fraud.
The president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, met with business leaders and members of the administration in the days leading up to the executive order.
“One of the things we need to do in government is take the initiatives already occurring in so many of your businesses and really expand that,” Ivanka told business leaders, according to the WSJ.
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