The business, education, government, and nonprofit leaders of the president's American Workforce Policy Advisory Board met this past week for the first time. Over the next year, the board will advise the Trump Administration on advancing a national workforce strategy to ensure that all Americans can benefit from our nation’s historic economic boom and record-low unemployment rates.
During the meeting, the board stressed that the economic success that has followed the Trump era deregulations and tax cuts is now being threatened by labor shortages.
“For years, taxes and regulations were the biggest problems facing small business, and now those are not the problems, but finding qualified labor is the biggest problem for small business,” said Juanita Duggan, President & CEO of National Federation for Independent Business. “Record numbers of small businesses declare that they can’t find any applicants for their open jobs, so this is becoming a crisis. As good as the economy is for small business, it’s not sustainable if we can’t fix this serious labor shortage.”
Johnny Taylor, CEO of Society for Human Resource Management, further expressed the need for more workers stating, “Businesses are telling us that they don’t have a problem accessing financial capital; they have a problem accessing human capital.”
Board members also communicated the necessity for all types of skilled workers, and not just those with four-year college degrees. Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President & CEO of IBM explained that we have a chance to not only have a strong economy, but an inclusive economy. “We have a chance to employ so many more people and not always with a college degree. A less than a four-year degree will get a very good-paying job in the new economy,” she said. This certainly applies to the construction industry.
The president listened and reassured the board that improving public and private vocational and technical education is a high priority for his administration.
President Trump also said that because companies have grown so much in the new American economy and are running out of Americans to hire, our country will need to bring in more immigrant workers to fill the 7 million open jobs.
“We’re going to let a lot of people come in because we need workers. We have to have workers,” he said.
This comes in the midst of news that Jared Kushner is working with organizations like the US Chamber of Commerce and the Associated Builders and Contractors on behalf of President Trump to develop business friendly immigration policy.
I am glad President Trump and his team are listening to the business community and working to combat ongoing labor shortages. I support his efforts and will be calling on our lawmakers to do the same.
May God bless you, and may He continue to bless America.