By Chris Mitchell, vice president, global government relations
In the nine months since IPC joined in President Trump’s “Pledge to America’s Workers” and committed to creating 1 million new skilled workforce opportunities over the next five years – a fair question has been asked: Are we taking credit for actions we would have done anyway? Was this motivated by politics?
The short answer is “no,” and the longer answer is worth sharing.
As a longtime leader in education and training programs for our members, IPC was already on track to help thousands of people qualify for new and better jobs. A chronic shortage of adequately skilled workers is one of the most difficult challenges facing our industry, and we are not waiting for someone else to solve the problem.
That said, when President Trump challenged the private sector to step up and do more in this area, we took it as an opportunity to review, improve, and expand upon our educational offerings.
As a result, over the last year we have:
In short, IPC and our members are making unprecedented investments in education and training programs and expanding them to cover all aspects of skills building from middle school to adulthood. Incidentally, we’re also expanding our workforce education efforts in the European Union.
Would we have done some of this anyway? Yes. We were already planning to educate about 250,000 people over the period 2019 to 2023. But on our new course, we are expanding our total effort to benefit more than 1.1 million people over that period. (See chart.)
The President’s challenge – and the opportunity to win White House-level recognition for our efforts – certainly catalyzed us to do more. It heightened the excitement and ambition in our discussions and plans.
And mind you, we are not doing this for political reasons; we’re doing it to address our industry’s top business challenge.
Ultimately, it’s about building a larger, stronger pipeline for millions of people to enjoy better careers and lives through our industry.