SHRM joins industry leaders, White House in pledging to train the workforce

The White House promised on Thursday to further develop employee skills and invest in 3.8 million training opportunities for American workers through job training and vocation schools.

A number of executives and CEOs — from companies such as FedEx and Walmart and organizations including the National Retail Federation and the Society for Human Resource Management — were on hand to pledge the new training opportunities across their different industries. President Donald Trump signed an executive order that establishes two committees to develop a national strategy to equip Americans of all ages and stages in their career to thrive in the modern economy.

“Business succeeds when its people succeed,” said Johnny Taylor Jr., SHRM president and CEO. “That means people joining the workforce must be prepared for work and have opportunities to advance their skills as work evolves and their careers progress.”

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U.S. President Donald Trump signs an executive order on workforce development during a 'Pledge to America's Workers' event at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, July 19, 2018. Trump invited Russian leader Vladimir Putin to Washington for a summit in the fall, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a tweet Thursday. Photographer: Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg

The new committees — the President’s National Council for the American Worker, made up of top government officials; and the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, comprised of company executives and association leaders — aim to address the new challenges faced by American workers in an increasingly technology-driven market.

At the signing, Taylor pledged SHRM would join the initiative by educating and preparing more than 127,000 HR professionals through SHRM certification programs over the next five years.

“With HR playing the critical role of leading industry’s recruiting and retention efforts, SHRM enthusiastically pledges its support for an investment in lifelong education and workplace training,” Taylor said.

President Donald Trump said Thursday afternoon that the nation needs “people with training” to fill vacancies at a time of historically low unemployment.

“From the high school graduate looking for their first job to a late career worker who wants to learn a new trade, we’re asking business across the country to sign our new pledge to America’s workers to expand apprenticeships for on-the-job training and vocational education,” Trump added.

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