Travel print pool report #4 - WCTC tour and roundtable

From: Jordan Fabian
Date: June 13, 2017 at 5:15:58 PM CDT
Subject: Travel print pool report #4 - WCTC tour and roundtable

First some quotes from President Trump's remarks at the workforce development roundtable at Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) and then some color from the tour.

POTUS said he and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker engaged in talks during the tour with a company, which he did not name, about bringing jobs back to the U.S.

“Just backstage, we were negotiating with a major, major incredible manufacturer of phones and computers and televisions and I think they’re going to give the governor a very happy surprise very soon," he said.

Pool asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders what company he was talking about, will pass along an answer if we get one.

POTUS said that the administration would be rolling out more of its apprenticeship initiative tomorrow, which he dubbed "Earn While You Learn." No details yet on what that will entail.

Later in the event, POTUS offered brief comments on NAFTA negotiations and the status of the dairy dispute wth Canada.

“It’s moving along very well. We are really, really making progress in opening things up," he said.

Now, onto the rest...

After a roughly 30-minute ride that took the presidential motorcade past Miller Park, the home of the Milwaukee Brewers, we arrived at Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee, Wis., at 3:51 PM local.

Motorcade passed a billboard along I-94 that read "Welcome to Waukesha President Trump." Several dozen waving onlookers greeted the motorcade in the WCTC parking lot. One man held up a "Make America Great Again" sign.

POTUS and entourage, which included Ivanka Trump, Walker, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, and Ray Allen, secretary of Wisconsin Workforce Development, entered a large room inside the college about 10 minutes after arrival for a quick tour.

It took place under a banner that listed the names of the of the "national champions, WCTC tool and die graduates." The competition appeared to be sponsored by the National Tooling Machining Association.

POTUS and his daughter and the governor quickly stopped at three locations where operators of large industrial machines explained what they were doing out of earshot of the pool. The White House declined to share information about what the machines were or any details about the people that POTUS met during that part of the tour.

Your pool noticed signs that cautioned against dumping metal shavings in the sink.

As the tour was concluding, the pool was rushed out of the room and down a long hallway, past a room labeled the "apprenticeship lab" and into another industrial looking room, where there was a dais with about a dozen people and about 50 chairs set up in front with an audience of about 50 people for the roundtable.

POTUS kicked off the discussion by thanking Walker, whom he called a "tremendous guy, tremendous governor, for hosting us here in the great state of Wisconsin. It’s a great state. I’ve been here many times since the election.”

He praised the governor for announcing $3.9M in grant funds to place 4,300 high school juniors and seniors in apprenticeships across several trades.

The president said that enhancing training and educational opportunities to help young people to get good-paying jobs “is one of the most important questions facing" their generation.

He said he could remember college classmates who “didn’t have a great ability or frankly didn’t have a great liking for what they were doing or what they were studying. But they could take apart an engine. They could do drilling like I’ve never seen before.”

Those are the people he said he is seeking to help. He said the rooms he saw at WCTC "aren’t your normal lecture halls. But in a certain way, they are far more beautiful. You learn incredible skills like welding and repair."

He called the machines he saw “incredible" and the people who operated them were "very, very amazing.”

“It's what keeps our nation going," he said of jobs in the trades. "We are going to do everything we can to make sure more young people have opportunities.”

Ivanka Trump spoke after her father, and said it was “truly inspiring to see such a dynamic campus.” She added that she enjoyed the tour of the campus and said that it was “incredible and very important work that you are doing here.”

Ms. Trump recalled meeting with CEOs and business leaders during the campaign who told her and her father about the challenges of finding qualified, experienced workers to fill technical jobs. She said programs like the one at the technical college are helping to train people to fill those jobs.

“Today we have seen first hand the success of these skills based programs,” she said. She concluded by saying that “workforce development is at the heart of the administration’s agenda.”

Walker spoke next. He thanked POTUS and Ms. Trump for coming to the state and recalled seeing a picture of POTUS’s father on the table behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office. He said that POTUS had told him that his father “taught you the value of hard work and working people.”

Mr. Walker bragged about his state, saying that it has an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent (the lowest, he said, since before 9/11) and a high worker participation rate. But he said that poses challenges in finding people to fill the jobs.

He said that the state had doubled funding for youth apprentice programs, and that more than 40 percent were filled by women during five of the past six years.

Mr. Walker then asked several of the people seated at the head table to make some remarks.

First was a young woman who said she had fallen in love with welding and managed to get her technical degree in welding and her high school diploma at almost the same time. “I think it’s pretty awesome,” she said as the audience clapped. The White House did not distribute her name.

Joel Quadracci, the president and CEO of Quad Graphics, spoke next, saying that hiring is “a challenge” and praising the technical training at colleges like the one POTUS was visiting. He noted that his company requires workers to operate $20 million dollar printing presses, which requires specialized skills.

Motorcade was rolling to a fundraiser for Mr. Walker in Milwaukee at 4:53 PM local time. Thanks to co-pooler Mike Shear of the NYT for a very helpful assist in covering this whirlwind event.

Roundtable participants listed below, per WH:

President Donald J. Trump
Ivanka Trump
Governor Scott Walker
Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos
Reince Priebus
Stephen Miller
Ray Allen - Secretary, Wisconsin Workplace Development
Mike Shiels - Dean, Waukesha County Technical College School of Applied Technologies
Mary Weirheim - Chairperson, Waukesha County Technical College District Board of Trustees
Todd Gray - Superintendent, Waukesha School District
Mark Hogan - CEO, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Blake Moret - CEO, Rockwell Manufacturing
Wilson Jones - CEO, Oshkosh Coporation
Todd Teske - CEO, Briggs & Stratton
John Pfeifer - President, Mercury Marine
Joel Quadracci - President and CEO, Quad Graphics
5 Students of Waukesha County Technical College

Matthew Levatich, president and CEO Harley Davidson


Jordan Fabian | White House Correspondent | The Hill | 1625 K Street, NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20006 | | Desk: (202) xxx-xxx-xxxx | Mobile: (202) xxx-xxx-xxxx | Twitter: @Jordanfabian

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