Mayor Bryan Barnett Invited to White House Ceremony

Rochester Hills Attends Signing of Executive Order Supporting the American Worker

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan K. Barnett was the only Mayor invited to the signing of an Executive Order establishing the President’s National Council for the American Worker on Thursday, June 19, at The White House. The Executive Order signed by President Trump is designed to provide a forum for the development of a national strategy to address urgent workforce issues. It is specifically intended to raise awareness of workforce needs and focus on the nation’s urgent skills crisis and the importance of STEM education.

Photo Mayor Bryan K. Barnett in his office

Mayor Bryan K. Barnett

“The number one concern among members of our business community in Rochester Hills is finding skilled employees. This Executive Order gets right at the heart of this issue,” stated Mayor Barnett. “Our current low unemployment rates are resulting in a talent war across multiple industries. Increased federal attention and investment in workforce development programs, including employer-based training, apprenticeships, internships, and tuition assistance will help generate the skilled talent pool we need.”

Mayor Barnett is enthusiastic about how the President’s Council can dovetail with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s Marshall Plan for Talent and the efforts of the Oakland County Workforce Development Board led by County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. “Seeing federal, state, and local governments working toward a common, critical goal is encouraging, particularly given the new skill-sets that will be required for future workers,” Barnett said. With this Council, the Administration is focused on reforming federal policies to promote life-long skills training.

“We’ll all be more effective if we work together to close the talent gap and to create the world-class curriculum called for by the Marshall Plan,” Barnett added. “In Rochester Hills, we’re fortunate that nearly 40% of residents with a college education have a STEM related degree. We’ll want to see that number increase further, as the occupational outlook suggests that jobs in these fields are growing 40% faster than other professions. This reality has certainly been embraced by our educational community, like nearby Oakland University, Oakland Community College and Oakland Schools Technical Campus with their intense focus on STEM.”

Another important component of success includes educating youth about career options. “Rochester Hills has been involved with initiatives like the MiCareerQuest Southeast, which will host an event later this year for 10,000 high school students, showing them career opportunities in advanced manufacturing, construction, health sciences and information technology. These are the types of proactive efforts that will help develop the talent pipeline.”

Above all, the Executive Order is a commitment to the American worker, focusing on creative ways that education and skills training and re-training can become more affordable and relevant. Barnett stated, “The Council is a step in the right direction and I was thrilled to be present at yesterday’s signing. The initiative is a win-win-win. Great for workers, great for families, and great for employers and our businesses right here in Rochester Hills.”

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