Ivanka Trump hears about workforce development in Illinois

GODFREY, Illinis (Illinois News Network)--President Donald Trump’s daughter said she’ll take what she heard about workforce development from a roundtable in the Metro East to the White House to help improve the administration’s efforts.

Ivanka Trump joined a roundtable discussion Wednesday at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, Illinois. The group heard from employers, a labor leader and students about what is being done to get workers trained for skilled jobs.

Welding student Charlie Umphrey was on the panel. She said she started going to a four-year school for business and engineering. Many of her friends were also going to four-year schools. After a few semesters, Umphrey said she knew she wanted something more hands on.

Trump said part of the goal of her father’s administration is to work toward rebranding education to get to what it’s really about.

“Obviously that’s to prepare people to be able to thrive and to be able to succeed and to be able to provide for themselves and ultimately their families if they chose to have one,” Trump said.

Springfield-area labor leader Brad Schaive was also on the panel and said his organization visits with prisons to tell them about the opportunities available for people getting out.

Trump took note. She said conditions are great for ex-offenders to get jobs.

“Having an economy such as we do today really enables them that chance, so those who have served their time, who have paid back their debt to society, they should be afforded that opportunity to thrive,” Trump said.

After the panel discussion, Schiave said not only does a job help ex-offenders become productive members of society, it also saves taxpayers.

Trump said prison reform and job training for ex-offenders is an important issue intersecting with workforce development her father’s administration is focused on.

Before the discussion, Trump toured Lewis and Clark’s new welding training facility, where she tried a virtual reality welding training machine and talked to a few of the program’s graduates.

Izabella Stockton, of Alton, got to talk one-on-one with Trump.

“It was pretty neat,” Stockton said. “She asked about my dad, if he was a welder, and I told her ‘no he was just kinda of like [doing it] on the side. I’ve got family who does it. I actually got my brother to go here for school. He graduated high school last year … he’s going to start welding. Pretty cool.”

Trump said she’ll take the stories she heard Wednesday with her back to D.C.