Tom Perez on Trump’s Apprenticeship Program

DNC Chair Tom Perez released the following statement in response to the announcement of Donald Trump’s executive order that shifts oversight of apprenticeship programs away from the Department of Labor and does not guarantee additional funding for the registered apprenticeship program:  


“When I served as Secretary of Labor under President Obama, we made unprecedented investments in high quality registered apprenticeship programs that provide more workers with the opportunity to punch their ticket to the middle class. Instead of building on that important progress, President Trump’s apprenticeship program cuts corners and doesn’t provide workers with credentials backed by the rigorous standards of our existing program. His vision for a bunch of unregistered apprenticeships reminds me a bit of Trump University – full of exaggerations about the benefits, but absolutely no standards to guarantee quality outcomes for the hardworking Americans who sign up.

“To stray from registered apprenticeship would undermine our ability to ensure that apprenticeships are leading to high-skill, high-pay jobs. That not only puts workers at risk, it leads to bad outcomes for employers and for our economy. We can’t lower the floor and let Donald Trump derail the progress we’ve made for American workers.”


Trump recently proposed gutting funding for job training – programs that would benefit out-of-work Americans – as his administration pushes more massive tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires like himself and Republican politicians.


Trump wants to slash the Labor Department’s budget by $2.4 billion – or roughly 20 percent – and targeted more than half of the cuts at job training programs.

Bloomberg“The White House asked to reduce Labor Department spending by $2.4 billion in fiscal year 2018, a roughly 20 percent decrease that would largely be accomplished by slashing the nation’s workforce training programs.”

Wall Street Journal“Reduced spending on training accounts for more than half of total reduction to the Labor Department’s budget.”


Trump’s budget would cut job training programs by almost 40 percent.

Bloomberg: “President Donald Trump May 23 requested a $1.3 billion cut in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act grants for adult, youth, and dislocated worker training programs that have previously garnered bipartisan support. That would represent a 39 percent reduction.”


Trump proposed eliminating job training programs for older Americans and disadvantaged youths.

Wall Street Journal: “The budget proposes to eliminate the Senior Community Service Employment Program, which provides part-time work to unemployed, low-income people 55 and older. The program intends to transition those workers to unsubsidized employment. Cutting the program would save the Labor Department $434 million, according to the White House budget released Tuesday.”

Washington Post: “The administration would also shrink Job Corps, a program that provides workplace training for disadvantaged youth, by closing centers that ‘do a poor job educating and preparing students’ for the labor force.”


Trump proposed eliminating a job training program for farm workers.

Wall Street Journal: “Also cut would be an $82 million program aimed at training migrant and seasonal farm workers. In both cases, the administration said those workers would be eligible for similar services through Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act programs, a separate Labor Department division.”


Trump wants to eliminate funding for grants to train workers in dangerous jobs.

Huffington Post: “The proposal would cut what are known as Harwood grants, which are doled out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The grants fund non-profits to train workers in dangerous jobs. Backers say the grants help save money by reducing costly on-the-job injuries and deaths.”