Senior adviser Ivanka Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross honored 9 companies with a “Pledge To America’s Workers Presidential Award” who have kept the administration’s initiative to create and maintain jobs for Americans at the White House on Wednesday.
“Today at the White House we are recognizing nine incredible organizations, and of course private sector companies who are receiving the inaugural pledge to America’s workers, proving that investing in the workforce, the country’s greatest, greatest asset by far is not just an activity that feels good, but it’s also smart business,” Ivanka said at the White House ceremony. “As winners of this inaugural prep pledge, our hope is that your commitment incentivizes and encourages other companies to do the exact same. So we hope to celebrate, many years of exceptional investment and American students and workers and we thank you for being the first class of recipients.”
The first-ever Pledge to America’s Workers Presidential Award Ceremony was created through the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Baldridge Performance Excellence program. It recognizes the demonstrated excellence and commitment to the education and training of an organization’s workforce.
The 9 companies being recognized for their “commitment to the exceptionalism of the American worker” included Volkswagen Group of America, Lockheed Martin, American Hotel & Lodging Association, Associated Builders and Contractors, the National Retail Federation, Northrop Grumman, Oberg Industries, Textron, and Zurich North America.
- American Hotel & Lodging Association – 130,000 opportunities pledged
- Associated Builders and Contractors – 500,000 opportunities pledged
- Lockheed Martin Corporation – 8,000 opportunities pledged
- National Retail Federation – 250,000 opportunities pledged
- Northrop Grumman Corporation – 7,500 opportunities pledged
- Oberg Industries, LLC. – 225 opportunities pledged
- Textron Inc. – 22,240 opportunities pledged
- Volkswagen Group of America – 15,000 opportunities pledged
- Zurich North America – 40 opportunities pledged
“Through the White House’s Pledge to America’s Workers, the Trump administration challenged the private sector to make a major investment in the education and training of their workers to ensure Americans have the skills necessary to remain the best in the world,” Ivanka said in a statement. “On behalf of the President, I am honored to award nine extraordinary organizations the Pledge to America’s Workers Award for their commitment to the exceptionalism of the American worker and for their steadfast resolve to equip their employees with the tools to succeed in the jobs of today and tomorrow.”
Most of the recipients have pledged to offer thousands or hundreds of thousands of training opportunities.
“President Trump wants all Americans to have equal opportunities in the job market based on their skillsets,” Ross said. “The American Workforce Policy Advisory Board highlights learning and employment records as key technological indicators for workers, employers, and educational institutions to build a skills-based labor market. IBM, Salesforce, and Walmart are providing learning and employment records in diverse fields such as cybersecurity, nursing, and retail in order to open more doors for Americans.”
Lockheed Martin pledged $100 million over five years to employee training and education after signing the Pledge to America’s Workers in 2018. The Associated Builders and Contractors pledged to educate at least 500,000 construction workers starting in 2018, for overshooting its goal and investing $1.5 billion to educate more than 1.1 million course attendees.
The administration’s “Pledge to America’s Workers” encourages businesses and groups to create opportunities for workers, including apprenticeships, continuing education, on-the-job-training, and retraining. Since its creation in July 2018, more than 440 companies have signed the pledge, and more than 16 million education and training opportunities for Americans have occurred.
After the award ceremony concludes, Ivanka Trump and Secretary Ross will convene the seventh meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. During the meeting, Robert Smith of Vista Equity Partners was announced as the new addition to the advisory board.