President Trump hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel and leaders of United States’ and Germany’s business sector to understand how to partner for success.
The president understands that any re-invigoration of manufacturing in America will require an army of skilled workers our educational system no longer produces and Germany has one of the best vocational training programs in the world.
Saying that an “important time” has come for “training our workforce for the 21st Century” and that the US and Germany must “deepen our partnership.” Trump lauded the “successful model” in Germany of “apprenticeship. “That’s a word I like,” a reference to his successful television show.
Apprenticeships prepare individuals for trade and manufacturing jobs and could be a “positive alternative to a four-year degree,” the president remarked.
“I’ve seen people that were not necessarily good students, but they could take apart an engine blindfolded,” Trump exclaimed said.
With what he called a “moonshot” request, Salesforce’s founder and CEO Marc Benioff challenged the president to create 5 million apprenticeships in the next 5 years. Trump replied, “Let’s go for that 5 million.”
Meeting attendees included U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and the CEO’s of Salesforce.com, Dow Chemical and IBM on the U.S. side. German attendees included State Secretary Steffen Seibert, Ambassador Peter Wittig, the CEO’s of BMW, Siemens, and Schaeffler.
Apprentices from the U.S. and Germany were also present in the meeting.