By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Wednesday is hosting major chief executives who joined a Trump administration advisory board on workforce issues.
Last month, the White House said the chief executives of Apple Inc, Walmart Inc, IBM Corp, Lockheed Martin Corp, Siemens USA, Home Depot Inc, Visa Incand other major companies are joining a 25-member board, co-chaired by adviser Ivanka Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
The council plans to hold its first meeting Wednesday afternoon at the White House complex, according to a public notice. President Donald Trump is expected to attend part of the sessions, a White House official confirmed. The meeting, set to last three hours, will be live-streamed.
A White House official was unable to confirm on Saturday a list of the CEOs who are attending but said most are expected to take part.
The board members are to serve until 2020 and will work with the administration’s 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,” the White House said last month.
Also on the council are the chief executives of the Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, as well as the governors of Iowa and Indiana, the president of the North America’s Building and Trades Unions and mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said U.S. job openings reached a record high in December at 7.3 million. The White House says the job openings present “a mismatch between the skills needed and those being taught, requiring immediate attention to help more Americans enter the workforce.”
This is the highest-profile White House business group to meet in 18 months.
In August 2017, Trump disbanded two high-profile business advisory councils after numerous chief executives quit in protest over his remarks blaming violence in Virginia on anti-racism activists as well as white nationalists.
Trump dissolved the American Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum after eight executives, including the CEOS of Campbell Soup Co and 3M Co, quit the panels. Both councils were moving to disband on their own when Trump made his announcement on Twitter.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)