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: Watchdog accuses Commerce of holding up 'Sharpiegate' report | Climate change erases millennia of cooling: study | Senate nixes proposal limiting Energy Department's control on nuclear agency budget Watchdog accuses Commerce of holding up 'Sharpiegate' probe report Research finds Uighurs targeted by Chinese spyware as part of surveillance campaign MORE and White House adviser Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpMelania Trump confidant plans tell-all book Trump says he's 'all for masks' despite reluctance to wear one Trump signs order directing federal government to focus on skills when hiring 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 TrumpKimberly Guilfoyle reports being asymptomatic and 'feeling really pretty good' after COVID-19 diagnosis Biden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad 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.