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Trump Order Could Fortify Restaurant Workforce

President Donald Trump issued an executive order issued Thursday, June 15, that was intended to help fill skilled jobs in machinery and technology but may have the added bonus of expanding the restaurant workforce.

Increased funding and decreased cumbersome regulations will make apprenticeships a more attractive option for employers, leading to greater utilization.

Under the order, the Department of Labor has been directed to create new rules for companies to create and certify their own apprenticeship programs, reducing the federal government’s role in monitoring apprenticeships. The order also proposes doubling the amount of money designated for apprenticeship grants from $90 million to almost $200 million.

“Apprenticeships place students into great jobs without the crippling debt of traditional four-year college degrees,” Trump said. “We’re empowering these groups to create new apprenticeships for millions of our citizens. … [Apprentices] earn while they learn.”

The National Restaurant Assn. Educational Foundation said the order will put more restaurant employees on a path to leadership roles.

Last year, the foundation received $1.8 million to create a hospitality apprenticeship program with the American Hotel and Lodging Assn., enabling it to invest about $1,000 per apprentice. The foundation is eager to grow the program to educate more apprentices and offer more comprehensive learning to existing ones.

“The program takes employees who are hourly or in entry-level positions and puts them on a structured pathway to give them the comprehensive skills they need to be effective restaurant managers,” said Rob Gifford, the foundation’s executive vice president. “They earn a credential at the end of the process and have all the skills they need to be a manager in the restaurant industry.”

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