3 GovCon Tech Leaders Join White House Board Aimed at Spurring Job Opportunities

A trio of chief executives of prominent technology companies serving the federal government will be working with 22 other private and public sector leaders to help promote education and job training.

Created in July 2018 and announced yesterday by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Ivanka Trump, the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board members include Siemens Corp. CEO Barbara Humpton, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and Lockheed Martin Chair, President and CEO Marillyn Hewson.

Co-chaired by Ross and Trump, the group will work with the National Council for the American Worker to champion “effective, results-driven education and training so that American students and workers can obtain the skills they need to succeed in the jobs of today and of the future,” according to the executive order.

The U.S. currently has 6.7 million unfilled jobs, a situation the White House called a “skills-crisis.” To address that issue, the board will first develop a national campaign to raise awareness of the importance of science, technology, engineering and math education and the creation of new industries and job opportunities spurred by emerging technologies.

“The top priority for companies competing in the digital economy has to be investing in people,” Humpton said Feb. 13, as reported by Bloomberg.

“Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence will change the way every job is done,” Rometty told CNBC in a statement. “I look forward to finding new ways for all Americans to participate in this digital era by building the job skills that are already in demand in our economy.”

Other notable tech leaders joining the board include Apple CEO Tim Cook and SAP SE CEO William McDermott.

The other board members are:

  • Jay Box, president, Kentucky Community and Technical College System
  • Walter Bumphus, president and CEO, American Association of Community Colleges
  • Jim Clark, CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • Tom Donohue, CEO, Chamber of Commerce
  • Juanita Duggan, president and CEO, National Federation for Independent Business
  • Elizabeth Goettl, president and CEO, Cristo Rey Network
  • Eric Holcomb, governor, Indiana
  • Al Kelly, CEO, Visa Inc.
  • Vi Lyles, Mayor, Charlotte North Carolina
  • Sean McGarvey, president, North America’s Building and Trades Unions
  • Doug McMillon, president and CEO, Walmart Inc.
  • Craig Menear, chairman, president and CEO, Home Depot Inc.
  • Michael Piwowar, executive director, Milken Institute
  • Scott Pulsipher, president, Western Governors University
  • Kim Reynolds, governor, Iowa
  • Scott Sanders, executive director, National Association of State Workforce Agencies
  • Johnny Taylor, CEO, Society for Human Resource Management
  • Jay Timmons, president and CEO, National Association of Manufacturers
  • Sheree Utash, president, Wichita State University Tech
  • Marianne Wanamaker, professor, University of Tennessee

The board will receive funding and administrative support from the Commerce Department. Its members will serve 2-year terms.

Related: New Buy American Executive Order Presents Opportunities, Risks for Contractors