25 top business leaders will assemble at The White House on Wednesday 6 March as part of a new committee.

By Daniel Herborn

Posted on March 4, 2019

The committee will include prominent CEOs such as Tim Cook (Apple), Doug McMillion (Walmart), Craig Menear (Home Depot), Al Kelly (Visa), Ginni Rometty (IBM) and others.

It will be co-chaired by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Ivanka Trump, a White House Advisor and Donald Trump’s daughter. Other board members include the President of North America’s Building and Trades Union and the Governors of Iowa and Indiana.

The meeting will be live-streamed and is expected to last around three hours. President Trump will attend at least part of the meeting.

Employment numbers suggest a divide between job skills and demand

In February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that US job openings had reached a record high of 7.3 million in December 2018. The White House says this number shows a “mismatch between the skills needed and those being taught, requiring immediate attention to help more Americans enter the workforce.”

The White House said the CEOs will aim to address this discrepancy and will work alongside the National Council for the American Worker “to develop and implement a strategy to revamp the American workforce to better meet the challenges of the 21st century.”

In a statement, Ivanka Trump said the board will work to ensure all Americans “have the skills and opportunity to secure good paying jobs and successfully navigate technological disruptions and the rapidly changing nature of work.”

Previous committees addressing workforce issues fell apart

Rometty said that new technology such as artificial intelligence will have a disruptive impact on every American job.
“I look forward to finding new ways for all Americans to participate in this digital era by building the job skills that are already in demand in our economy,” she said.

The committee is Donald Trump’s most high-profile attempt to work with CEOs to address workforce issues in some times.

The President had previously disbanded the American Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum after an exodus of executives. The leaders had quit in protest over Trump’s reluctance to denounce white nationalists in the wake of violence in Virginia.