Over 20 Companies and Organizations Sign White House Pledge to Create Apprenticeships & Jobs


In a White House event with business and organizational leaders, President Trump signed an executive order creating the National Council for the American Worker, to convene experts from government, education, and private industry to focus on workforce development and training.  The Council, led by Ivanka Trump, will focus on increasing job training and apprenticeships for American workers.

Companies such as Walmart, FedEx, Lockheed Martin, and Microsoft were among the those that signed a “Pledge to American Workers,” committing to create job opportunities over the next five years. Walmart alone committed to creating one million new jobs in that time period.  Business organizations present such as the Internet Association and Associated Builders & Contractors signed pledges to develop apprenticeships to help re-skill workers. To see the full list of commitments, click here.

Costs and Benefits: Paid Sick Leave For Federal Contractors

By: Jake Clabaugh, WIPP Government Relations

sick leave paidFederal contractors have been hit with a bevy of new regulations over the past few months – everything from increased reporting of labor and safety violations, a raise in minimum wages and increases in mandatory overtime pay. The next shoe will drop in January 2017, when ALL Federal contractors, primes and subs, will have to provide paid sick leave benefits to workers. The Department of Labor (DOL) proposed rules that would implement this change last month.

Contracts issued January 1, 2017 will require all Federal contractors to give employees 1 hour of paid sick leave per 30 hours worked. This rule will only apply to time spent on Federal contracts, so if an employee performs some work for a private sector client, those hours would not count toward sick leave accrual. Additionally, earned sick leave will carry over from one year to the next.

Why just contractors? The President issued an Executive Order to make the change. Like other new regulations pertaining to contractors, the President can make these decisions for his workforce. Congress has been unable to decide if or how to move forward on these issues so the President decided to act on his own. As the Commander in Chief, he can determine procurement policy – including requirements for contractors – without Congress having to pass a law.

While WIPP members support worker benefits in practice, we don’t believe that the DOL gave enough consideration to how this rule will affect small businesses. Without an exception for small businesses, the vast majority of women-owned business will be compelled to provide the same benefits as multi-billion dollar firms.

WIPP’s comments to DOL on the proposed rule can be read in full here.

More Innovative Ideas to Come – Presidential Innovation Fellows Program Made Permanent

pifPresident Obama signed an executive order this week making the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program permanent to keep attracting innovators and continue building modern, engaging and transparent government.

The main purpose of the program is to upgrade how Americans interact with government online and to encourage a culture of public service among tech entrepreneurs and innovators.

Since the program’s launch in 2012 it has recruited 96 innovative experts from all around the country and different industries. Greater access to electronic medical records, police departments making their data searchable online, and broader access to high-speed internet for students in their schools were the highlights of the program’s greatest achievements mentioned by President Obama in his speech introducing the executive order on Monday this week.

Fellows serve for 12 months as embedded entrepreneurs-in-residence teamed up with top federal employees on a variety of efforts from the three main portfolio projects – Good for Government (to overcome technology gaps across agencies), Presidential and Agency Priorities (to better serve citizens), and Technology Partnership (guidance to support technology changes).

All Americans with bold ideas are encouraged to apply here.