Ivanka Trump talks skills training legislation with senators, CEOs

Ivanka Trump talks skills training legislation with senators, CEOs
© Greg Nash

White House senior adviser and first daughter Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpEx-Trump, progressive strategists battle over charges of anti-Semitism surrounding Eric Trump Ethics watchdog requests probe into Trump officials traveling to campaign events Trump praises Arizona governor's pick of Jon Kyl to succeed McCain MORE discussed legislation to boost skills training for tech careers with senators and corporate executives on Wednesday night, according to a source familiar with the event.

Trump specifically talked with lawmakers and business leaders about reauthorizing the Perkins Act, a bill aimed at bolstering workforce education training, during a dinner she and husband Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Manafort’s plea deal — the clear winners and losers Five takeaways from Manafort’s plea deal MORE hosted at their home in northwest Washington, D.C.

The bill has been a priority for some major technology companies like IBM, whose CEO Ginni Rometty attended the dinner Wednesday night. The source noted though that the Perkins Act was a “priority topic” for Trump during the dinner.

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The individual described the dinner as “a positive and productive discussion on overcoming a handful of obstacles and getting this bill onto the Senate floor.”

Other attendees included Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil Cruz gets help from Senate GOP in face of serious challenge from O’Rourke MORE (R-Tenn.), Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoThis week: Democrats pledge ‘sparks’ in Kavanaugh hearing Congress faces September scramble on spending California passes bill to ban controversial drift net fishing MORE (R-W.Va.), Mike EnziMichael (Mike) Bradley EnziCruz gets help from Senate GOP in face of serious challenge from O’Rourke Budget chairs press appropriators on veterans spending Forcing faith-based agencies out of the system is a disservice to women MORE (R-Wyo.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Memo: Kavanaugh firestorm consumes political world Kavanaugh becomes September surprise for midterm candidates Kavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday MORE (D-N.D.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharGOP in striking distance to retake Franken seat Warner: 'overwhelming majority' of Republicans would back social media regulations Republicans block Democratic bid to subpoena Kavanaugh documents MORE (D-Minn.), as well as Northrop Grumman CEO Wes Bush and Josh Bolton, the president of the Business Roundtable.

The Perkins Act was originally signed in 1984 and reauthorized in 1998, but proponents want changes that they say will make it more helpful to workers in a modern economy with a growing number of technical jobs.

An IBM spokesperson said the company believes an updated version of the act “can go a long way toward addressing America’s high-tech skills gap."

Some technology companies and researchers say action is needed to address a schism between available technical jobs and workers with the skills necessary to fill them.  

The bill has bipartisan support and passed in the House last year, but has yet to gain traction in this legislative session.