President Donald Trump spent a busy Tuesday afternoon and evening in southeastern Wisconsin.
"It'd be a big mistake for our future", he said.
Last week was branded "infrastructure week" with a series of events dealing with fixing the nation's decrepit roads and bridges, another plank in Trump's jobs platform. We have an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent - that's the lowest it's been since before 9/11.
But a congressional hearing on the Russian Federation imbroglio featuring James Comey - the Federal Bureau of Investigation director Trump fired - sucked up all the attention in Washington.
"If you're really interested in promoting apprenticeship, you have to invest in that skills training", said Mike Rosen, president of the Milwaukee chapter of the American Federation of Teachers union. The widening labor skills gap is one issue the administration is now looking to address.
"We're training people to have great jobs and high paying jobs", Trump said during a ceremony at the White House before signing the order. "The goals of this program will be met with the broader Apprenticeship program", the budget notes.
However, critics accuse Trump of hurting the people he's attempting to help. "But the Department of Labor still sits over and above it and still adjudicates it at the end of the day". Nine in 10 apprentices who complete their programs find jobs, according to the Labor Department. Earlier this week, the president said he would like to see those paid positions at "every high school in America."
President Trump will sign an executive order Thursday created to expand apprenticeships to train people for millions of unfilled jobs. "There are millions of good jobs that lead to great careers, jobs that do not require a four-year degree or the massive debt that often comes with those four-year degrees and even two-year degrees".
"We have a lot of companies moving into the United States and we are negotiating with a lot of companies", Trump said.
Diana Furchtgott-Roth, an economist at the right-leaning Manhattan Institute who served on Trump's transition team, said the budget cuts are meant to eliminate costly redundancies. With technology rapidly remaking the nature of work, it's more important than ever for workers to remain relevant (and probably harder, too). In his announcement in the Roosevelt Room, the President touted the need to "create new apprenticeships" so people can "earn while they learn" - a sentiment the restaurant industry fully supports. Currently, half of the country's 1 million apprenticeships are "registered" with the U.S. Department of Labor. And we want to train people and hire American workers to fill those jobs.
The two Milwaukee-based companies promise to focus on USA military veterans who are re-entering the civilian workforce.
We're here today to talk about the dignity of work and the greatness of the American worker - and also loving the work you do. Much of her work involves community outreach. There's a key difference between the Trump and Obama approaches, however: Obama wanted the government to fund training programs and help organize them.
Dawn Sweeney, National Restaurant Association CEO and president, added that apprenticeship programs provide affordable education and job training for hospitality management. A construction firm in town immediately hired him as an apprentice doing odd jobs - preparing paint, tearing out old flooring - as he trained to become a journeyman.
Eric Haban of LDI Industries in Manitowoc started as a youth apprentice and said it "gave me a jump start to get into a field that I had no prior experience in".
It's unclear how the cuts could affect his program. "You get what you pay for".