During an address to US governors Monday morning, President Donald Trump discussed the need for training programs and claimed that his daughter Ivanka had “created millions of jobs.” He followed up by discussing the Pledge to America’s Workers, an effort Ivanka has been involved in since its inception last year.
Facts first: No matter how you spin it, that’s not true.
In July of last year, Trump signed an executive order creating the National Council for the American Worker, co-chaired by Ivanka Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. One of the council’s priorities is asking companies across the US to sign the Pledge to America’s Workers. The pledge involves “committing to expand programs that educate, train, and reskill American workers from high-school age to near-retirement,” according to the White House.
Two hundred companies have agreed to the pledge, with each providing different numbers of training opportunities. This brings the total number of opportunities pledged to just over 6.5 million. (See the full list.)
CNN’s Senior Economics Writer Lydia DePillis checked out a similar claim made by Ivanka herself last year as she discussed the pledge. “We’re up to 6.3 million new jobs,” Ivanka said last October. That claim, DePillis found, was rather exaggerated.
First, the pledge does not translate to millions of immediate training opportunities. In a press release from the administration, the pledge is described as a commitment to “new opportunities over the next five years.”
Secondly, these are better understood as training opportunities, not necessarily “jobs.” In the same press release last year, the White House described these opportunities as “apprenticeships and work-based learning, continuing education, on-the-job training, and reskilling.” These opportunities can be for current employees.
Lastly, many of these opportunities pledged were already planned by the companies. As CNN previously reported, Walmart’s pledged amount over five years would just about match the rate that its program Walmart Academies has trained since it started in 2016. The Associated Builders and Contractors provides a similar example as it pledged to provide roughly as many opportunities in five years as it trains in one year.
In sum, it’s inaccurate to suggest that the number of training opportunities pledged are “jobs.” The timeline for these opportunities spans five years. And many of them match existing company goals and numbers.
It’s simply not true that Ivanka Trump has “created millions of jobs,” as her father claimed.