Trump signs order prioritizing job skills over college degree in government hiring
President Donald Trump and his daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump (R) attend a meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board in the East Room of the White House on June 26, 2020.
WASHINGTON - A college degree no longer gives Americans a leg when looking for jobs with the federal government.
President Donald Trump signed an implementing regulation on Friday to revise government hiring practices so that an applicant's skills take precedence over a college degree.
Officials say the shift will allow the government to hire a more inclusive workforce based on skills rather than a person's level of education.
"This will ensure that we are able to hire based on talent and expand our universe to qualified candidates and ensure a fairer hiring process," Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and senior advisor, told reporters on Friday.
Ivanka Trump is co-chair of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, which was founded in 2018 and is tasked with recommending opportunities to improve professional training. The president signed the decision during the board meeting on Friday.
"The federal government will no longer focus only on where you went to school, but on the skills and talents you bring to the job," Trump said.
The federal government is the country's largest employer with 2.1 million civil workers.
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Ivanka Trump said the new hiring practice will show that the government is leading by example when it tries to recruit and retain the best and brightest workers. You and other administrators have tried to improve training opportunities and promoted such training as an alternative to traditional two- or four-year university courses.
The shift in hiring logs will recognize the value of learning whether it takes place in the workplace or in the classroom, said Brooke Rollins, acting director of the White House Home Affairs Council, who oversees the president's interior agenda.
The government does not fully address college requirements, but instead emphasizes skills in jobs where a degree is less important. Two-thirds of Americans have no college degree.
A college or college degree is necessary to work in many professions, but the need for educational credentials is less certain in many other areas, said Michael Rigas, acting director of the Office for Human Resources Management.
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Trump's executive regulation instructs federal agencies to largely remove applicants from screening based on their educational credentials and written questionnaires, and to use assessment methods that more directly determine whether they have the knowledge and skills to do the job, said Rigas.
The government will also revise job skills standards if they limit opportunities for people from different backgrounds, Rigas said
"The federal government should welcome job seekers with the skills they need, regardless of how they acquired them," he said.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the other co-chair of the workforce advisory board, said the need for skills and apprenticeships was as great as it was before the coronavirus pandemic, in which millions of people became unemployed and the national unemployment rate rose above 13% in May.
"The Americans want to go to work, but they need our help," said Ross.
Michael Collins reports about the White House. Reach him on Twitter @mcollinsNEWS.
Contributors: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared in the U.S. TODAY: Trump's executive order emphasizes college hiring skills in hiring
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