Ivanka Trump and the Commerce Secretary visit Charlotte for workforce development tour

Ivanka Trump and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross visited the Siemens Charlotte Energy Hub Tuesday morning as part of a workforce development visit.

Ross and Trump, an adviser to her father, President Donald Trump, toured the facility which manufactures power generation equipment. Others on the tour included Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, Siemens USA CEO Barbara Humpton and members of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Committee, which met after the tour at the Foundation for the Carolinas.

The committee, established in March, is a Department of Commerce agency that advises the National Council for the American Worker.

Trump and Ross met with Central Piedmont Community College students who work part-time at the facility as part of Siemens’ apprentice program.

“It’s very impressive, “ Ross told reporters after the tour ended. “We’re here mostly to deal with the job training issue. They’ve been at it very successfully since 2011, so they’re among the pioneers.”

Ivanka Trump did not address the media.

During the tour, Lyles said the group met an apprentice who graduated from East Mecklenburg High and works on tools to go on turbines. Lyles said it is great to see young people in apprentice programs that lead to stable jobs in advanced manufacturing.

“What’s most important right now is the opportunity for many people to see Charlotte and to see the jobs like Siemens that we have in advanced manufacturing,” Lyles said.

Better job opportunities

After the tour, Trump opened the workforce advisory board meeting at the foundation by referencing federal actions the government has taken since March to advance the goals of the board, which included expanding Pell Grants to the formerly incarcerated. This would allow them easier access to jobs after leaving prison.

Trump also mentioned a meeting that the president held last week to discuss other goals the government has for increasing employment rate of ex-prisoners. She said she hoped that the entire board would help in those efforts.

Lyles agreed with the importance of the Pell Grant initiative.

“That’s why this program is so important,” Lyles told reporters after the meeting. “It’s not just for the Honeywells of the world. It’s for every citizen.”

People leaving prison don’t always go back to their homes, Lyles added. They look for cities like Charlotte because they have better job opportunities.