Trump's apprenticeship program for 'millions' of Americans falls millions short


Two years ago, Trump made a bold promise to help millions of Americans, but the program has helped exactly no one.

Two years after promising to create an apprenticeship program to help millions of Americans, the Trump administration has helped zero people, Politico reported Thursday.

Trump signed an executive order on June 15, 2017, to expand the Department of Labor's (DOL) apprenticeship program that he claimed would "create apprenticeships for millions of our citizens."

Exactly 734 days later, not a single new apprenticeship program has been created, and not a single citizen has been helped. The monumental failure of Trump and his administration led to backbiting and finger-pointing between the White House, DOL, and Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

After Trump signed the executive order, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta organized a task force that included John Ratzenberger, the actor who played Cliff the mailman on the television show "Cheers." The group delivered a report in May 2018 outlining its recommendations, but more than a year later, there is still no new program.

The White House fingered Acosta's former chief of staff, Nick Geale, as the problem, eventually forcing him out of that position. Inside the DOL, career staff complained that political appointees didn't know what they were doing.

One staffer told Politico they received a draft of the rule that was riddled with errors, while another complained that they were asked to write a preamble for a rule about the program despite senior officials refusing to address key concerns, such as the definition of terms and what certain provisions meant.

OMB eventually stepped in to try to move the process forward.

The lingering incompetence of the Trump team means it will be another few months before there is even a chance of anything happening.

The DOL plans to release a proposed rule about the apprenticeship program later this week, but then must wait for a 90-day comment period. After that, they must revise the rule based on input from the public, and only then can a program launch.

Two years after making an outlandish promise of apprenticeships for millions, Trump fell just short. He was only off by millions.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.