Executive Order Regarding Apprenticeships to Help Close Skills Gap

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Express Employment Professionals Offers Job Genius Educational Video Series to Prepare Students for Workforce

President Donald J. Trump took aim at closing the skills gap Thursday with the signing of an executive order intended to expand federally funded apprenticeship programs. With industries such as manufacturing and information technology facing daunting employment numbers in the near future, Express Employment Professionals offers an educational program to help young adults learn about the job market and how to gain employment.

Job Genius, an eight-part educational video series created by Express, offers soft skills training to people between the ages of 17-24. The program provides valuable insight into how to choose the right educational path to enter the workforce, covering topics including creating a career plan, resume building, interviewing, and compensation. Job Genius explores employment trends by focusing on in-demand jobs that are not always highlighted, such as skilled trades and opportunities offered in this line of work.

Designed as a resource for schools and organizations teaching people how to select a career, look for a job, and be successful at work, Job Genius is available to career tech and high school educators free of charge. Taught through classroom trainings or one-day events, Job Genius empowers the next generation to make informed education and career decisions.

To help offset the cost of higher education, Express also offers a scholarship program designed to recognize and encourage achievements for those earning hard skills. Open to qualified Express associates and their family members, scholarship recipients receive an award of up to up to $1,000 for their studies.

More information can be found at ExpressPros.com/JobGenius and ExpressPros.com/Scholarship, respectively.
The new executive order will help with the skills gap, which has become increasingly problematic, as evidenced by a recent survey of businesses commissioned by Express. A total of 33 percent of businesses said they could not fill jobs because applicants lack experience. Another 29 percent said they could not find available applicants.

Businesses also question the effectiveness of government job training programs. In the same study, only 27 percent said the programs were effective. Thursday’s executive order mandates agencies review those programs with the possibility of ineffective ones being cut. Funding from cut programs would then be directed towards apprenticeships.

“Despite the current low unemployment rate, businesses are having a difficult time finding workers simply because the unemployed have given up looking for work or they lack the training needed and are unwilling or unable to go back to school,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

“Today’s executive order is very encouraging because it can help solve the skills gap by allowing job seekers to learn a trade while supporting their families and avoiding the crippling debt sometimes associated with four-year colleges.”

If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bob Funk to discuss this topic, please contact Sheena Karami, Director of Corporate Communications and PR, at (405) 717-5966.

About Robert A. Funk
Robert A. “Bob” Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 770 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide. Funk served as Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve and was also the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.05 billion in sales and employed a record 510,000 people in 2016. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit ExpressPros.com.

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Sheena Karami
Express Employment Professionals
+1 (405) 717-5966
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