Apple, IBM, Walmart join White House advisory board

The heads of Apple, IBM and Walmart are among the new members of a White House advisory board on workforce issues, the Commerce Department announced Wednesday. 

Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossOvernight Energy: Dems subpoena Perry in impeachment inquiry | EPA to overhaul rules on lead contamination tests | Commerce staff wrote statement rebuking weather service for contradicting Trump Commerce staff drafted statement rebuking weather service for contradicting Trump's hurricane predictions US, in reversal, does not support Brazil's entry to OECD MORE and White House adviser Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpBiden praises Buttigieg for criticizing GOP attacks: 'That's a good man' Buttigieg knocks Trump as a 'walking conflict of interest' Stephen Miller defends Trump, accuses Democrats of 'witch hunt part two' MORE named the 25 presidents and CEOs of major corporations joining the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. The list includes Apple's Tim Cook, IBM's Ginni Rometty and Walmart's Doug McMillon.


The board, co-chaired by Ross and Trump, is tasked with working alongside the National Council for the American Worker to develop a "21st century workforce" plan that's likely to include technology skills training.

Rometty, IBM's CEO and president, said in a statement that "emerging technologies like artificial intelligence will change the way every job is done."

"I look forward to finding new ways for all Americans to participate in this digital era by building the job skills that are already in demand in our economy," she said.

Other members include the heads of the National Federation for Independent Business, North America’s Building Trades Unions, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Society for Human Resource Management.

The advisory board seeks to represent the "private sector, educational institutions, and state and local governments," according to the announcement.

“I look forward to working with this exceptional and committed group of leaders to advance the goals of the National Council for the American Worker and ensure inclusive growth,” President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness school deans call for lifting country-specific visa caps Bolton told ex-Trump aide to call White House lawyers about Ukraine pressure campaign: report Federal prosecutors in New York examining Giuliani business dealings with Ukraine: report MORE said in a statement. “We want all Americans to have the skills and opportunities to secure good paying jobs and successfully navigate technological disruptions and the rapidly changing nature of work.”

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) and Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) will also sit on the panel.

Trump created the National Council for the American Worker with an executive order in July. That group aims to design a plan to prepare U.S. workers for the shift brought on by automation and artificial intelligence, as well as provide job training.

The president has had a rocky past with previous business councils.

Almost a dozen CEOs dropped out of two advisory business panels in 2017 after Trump said there were "fine people" on "both sides" of the Charlottesville, Va., white supremacist rally that left one counterprotester dead.
Trump abruptly disbanded the forums following the exodus and said he was ending the two councils in order to relieve the business leaders from the intense public pressure. The CEOs who left issued statements condemning Trump's post-Charlottesville remarks and indicated that their departures were spurred by the president's comments.
--Updated at 11:55 a.m.