U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis and a host of dignitaries played host today to Ivanka Trump, daughter and advisor to the president, during a tour of Lewis and Clark Community College's welding facility in Godfrey.
The event included a workforce development roundtable with manufacturers, labor, and LCCC students.
"Today, we saw the advancement in technical training and heard from people who are proof that you don't have to have a four-year degree to succeed in this country," said Davis."It was great to have Ivanka Trump, who continues to be a leader on workforce training and child care issues in the White House, visit the 13th District.
"As we heard today, this is about growing the middle class and creating jobs that allow people to succeed. In Washington, we recently passed an overhaul of our career and technical education programs to ensure they are providing training for jobs that are actually open within a community. I continue to work with the administration to expand apprenticeship opportunities and reduce college debt," Davis said.
Last week, the president signed into law the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act, which provides funding and flexibility for states to offer programs promoting career and technical education, refocuses those programs on student outcomes to ensure they are prepared to enter the workforce, and enhances skills training to match the jobs that are available in a 21st century economy.
In addition to Davis and Trump, panelists who spoke to a room of more than a hundred business leaders, students, labor representatives, and community leaders included:
- Dr. Dale Chapman, president of Lewis and Clark Community College
- Heidi Capozzi, chief human resources officer and senior VP for HR at Boeing
- Jerry Knoyle, manager of Wood River Refinery for Phillips 66
- Jane Saale, CEO of Cope Plastics
- Brad Schaive, Laborers Local 477
- Charlie Umphrey, welding graduate
- Bobbie McCormick, Process Operations Technology graduate
- Robyn Scott, nursing student and WIOA recipient
Prior to the roundtable, Davis and Trump toured the welding facility at LCCC, participated in a welding demonstration with students, and took part in virtual welding used to teach students how to weld.
Madison County Chairman Kurt Prenzler said the visit helped bring recognition to jobs in the trades industry.
“The event showcased the importance of investing in the American worker,” Prenzler said.
Prenzler and other officials also toured the $4.5 million, 16,000-square-foot Weber Workforce Development Center with Trump.
Congress and the president’s administration are working to improve both private and public workforce training opportunities.
“It shows that the programs are helping people match the skills they need with opportunities in the workforce,” Prenzler said.
Director of Employment and Training Tony Fuhrmann agreed.
“Last week the county signed an agreement to be an intermediary/sponsor of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Registered Apprenticeship Program,” Fuhrmann said.
The agreement allows the local workforce area, which includes Madison and Bond counties, to be a part of the National Apprenticeship Program in accordance with the basic Standards of Apprenticeship established by the U.S. Secretary of Labor.
“This benefits local businesses by streamlining the process to establish apprenticeships programs,” Fuhrmann said.
Fuhrman said one of the panelists mentioned the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which the county administers.
“WIOA assisted her with paying for tuition and books,” he said.
PHOTO: Congressman Rodney Davis, center, and Ivanka Trump, with LCCC President Dr. Dale Chapman, background, and welding coordinator Travis Jumper, left, participate in a welding demonstration at Lewis and Clark Community College.