President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order Wednesday that would virtually eliminate oversight of government-subsidized apprenticeship programs, according to a source familiar with a draft of the plan.
The draft executive order would shift certification of federally funded apprenticeship programs from the Labor Department to grant recipients, a move that effectively would eliminate government oversight. Right now, companies that receive government funds must report certain information to the Labor Department; under Trump’s plan, the companies would essentially monitor themselves, the source said.
Trump is expected to sign the order in conjunction with a policy speech at the Labor Department Wednesday afternoon.
The president’s plan would also propose more than doubling the amount allotted for for apprenticeship grants, adding $100 million to Trump’s existing 2018 budget request of $90 million. The budget request represented only a one percent increase. The source — who was briefed by a colleague that reviewed a draft of the order last Friday — said the order didn’t say how that funding increase would occur; it would almost certainly require approval from Congress.
Trump has sought to make workforce development the focus for his administration this week. He traveled to Wisconsin today with his eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, to host a roundtable on apprenticeships at Waukesha Technical College. On Wednesday he will meet with more than a dozen CEOs on the subject.