Ivanka to join Trump in jobs push

Ivanka to join Trump in jobs push
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President Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump will hit the road next week to focus on workforce development and job creation as the White House looks to turn the page on former FBI Director James Comey

On Tuesday, the president, the first daughter and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta will travel to Wisconsin to tour the Waukesha County Technical College, where they’ll promote new steps the administration will take to expand apprenticeships and make it easier for students to obtain skills-based education through “earn-and-learn” programs.
  
On a conference call with reporters, Ivanka Trump, who serves as an adviser to her father, said the event was to “raise awareness about the fact that there are important and very viable and respectable career paths outside of a traditional four-year college experience that should be considered and should be invested in.”
 
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The new jobs push comes as the White House looks to move beyond a dramatic week dominated by Comey’s testimony on Capitol Hill.
 
Millions of Americans tuned in to see the former FBI director question Trump’s character, call him a liar and allege that the president had demanded loyalty while asking him to bury an investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Those dramatic developments blotted out the administration's weeklong policy push on infrastructure. The president traveled to Cincinnati to whip support for an infrastructure-spending plan, but the White House was helpless to cut through the frenzy around Comey. 

The White House likely hopes to pivot back to a message that serves Trump's base and has potential to broadly resonate with Americans.

On Wednesday, Trump will give a major policy speech on workforce development at the Department of Labor, while Ivanka Trump conducts a roundtable at the White House with CEOs on apprenticeship programs.

On Thursday, the president, the first daughter and Labor secretary will hold another business roundtable at the White House, this time with eight governors. The administration has declined to say which governors will be in attendance.
 
White House officials credited a February manufacturing roundtable helmed by Ivanka Trump as the impetus for the new workforce development initiatives. She has been meeting with CEOs and Cabinet secretaries to brainstorm on the topic, officials said.
 
Ivanka Trump credited German Chancellor Angela Merkel — who has a frosty relationship with her father — for planting the seeds for the new initiatives by taking her on a tour of an apprenticeship facility in Berlin earlier this year.
 
“We looked around the globe and sought to find examples of where apprenticeships and workforce development and training programs were very successful and really thriving,” Ivanka Trump said on the conference call. “Germany is a great example of that.”
 
Ivanka Trump also said she would focus this week on promoting job opportunities for women and minorities in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — where they are underrepresented.
 
Vice President Pence will precede Trump in Wisconsin on Saturday to discuss the administration’s economic agenda with Gov. Scott Walker (R) and small-business owners from across the state.
 
The White House has been quietly gutting Obama-era employment regulations, targeting everything from overtime laws to federal contract bidding.
 
Despite the organized approach the administration is taking to its jobs initiative, Trump cannot completely escape the controversy surrounding his firing of Comey and allegations that the president may have obstructed justice. 
 
White House officials told The Hill they were relieved Comey didn’t drop any new bombshells at his testimony beyond the encounters he detailed in his opening remarks. They say they have learned that Comey is a savvy political animal and that they will have to take him seriously going forward.
 
Still, Trump kicked the hornet's nest once again on Friday, accusing the former FBI director of lying and saying he would testify under oath that he never asked Comey for loyalty and that he did not seek to suppress the investigation into Flynn.
 
That could set the wheels in motion for Trump to testify before Congress or the special counsel investigating Russian election meddling, led by former FBI Director Bob Mueller.
 
But for the second consecutive week, the White House will have a policy theme it plans to hammer home. Trump’s allies have been encouraged by the sense of focus they believe was lacking from his first 100 days in office.
 
In a statement, Ginni Rometty, the chairman and president of IBM, lauded the administration’s workforce development efforts.
 
"American companies cannot find enough candidates with the skills needed to fill millions of jobs that are open right now in this country,” Rometty said.
 
“The Trump administration has put a strong focus on workforce training and education. This includes training for 'New Collar' technology jobs where a traditional four-year degree is not always required," she said. "We welcome the president's efforts to close the high-tech skills gap, and build the American workforce we need."