Ivanka Trump, Senior Advisor to President Donald Trump, unveiled a new campaign on Tuesday titled Find Something New, urging the millions of Americans left unemployed by the government and public reaction to COVID-19 to simply “find something new” to provide an income.
While millions of Americans remain unemployed, and mixed messaging from state and federal government leaves parts of the country extending their economically devastating lockdowns to combat the spread of COVID-19, Trump unveiled a the new initiative in an effort to get Americans working in tech related fields.
Trump said “Now as a result of COVID, people need to, unfortunately, in some cases, learn a completely new skill,” and find a “new trajectory.”
As reported by the Associated Press, the campaign is backed by Apple and IBM.
“We want to facilitate that connection back to the workforce and make it as smooth as possible,” Trump added.
IBM’s executive chairman Ginni Rometti claimed the campaign will “encourage companies to embrace ‘skills first’ hiring,” placing lower importance on education. “Don’t look just at a degree, but look at the skills someone has and let them get started,” she added, according to the AP.
Apple CEO Tim Cook also stressed the importance of getting Americans employed as soon as possible.
In a video advertising the new campaign, a diverse group of Americans discuss “finding a new skill” and seeking “an apprenticeship” to find employment.
Americans of all ages and backgrounds can look to https://t.co/dRZMdZyON4 to explore new pathways to career opportunities + resources to support their journey. #FindSomethingNew #PledgetoAmericasWorkers pic.twitter.com/YHhs3G3FVb
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) July 14, 2020
As Pedro Gonzalez has reported extensively for American Greatness, Ivanka Trump’s husband and President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has extensive ties to Silicon Valley tech companies and is their point of contact within the Trump administration.
American Greatness reported:
It’s likely that interested parties—including Kushner’s perceived allies in the technology sector and the Republican business establishment—seeded the Hill’s story to ensure Kushner does not flinch in the face of growing criticism from voters. The private sector coalition utilized by Kushner to push his preferred policies intends to extract its pound of flesh.
Kushner is beholden to the tech CEOs with whom Trump himself frequently rows. Whereas Trump promised not to touch Social Security, Kushner and his associates are champing at the bit to attack the program. Trump campaigned on reducing immigration, while Kushner advocates increasing levels of legal immigration.
Social media users blasted the new campaign as insensitive, with many claiming there are no new jobs to “find” as a result of the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Stunningly tone-deaf”: Ivanka Trump criticized for urging jobless Americans to “find something new” https://t.co/o6BjxAGCbS
— Ted Corcoran (Red T Raccoon) (@RedTRaccoon) July 14, 2020
Ivanka Has Some Advice for Unemployed Workers: Just Find a New Job!https://t.co/bpDW9vOSN5
— Hear Me Roar (@Stop_Trump20) July 14, 2020
— Andrew Feinberg (@AndrewFeinberg) July 14, 2020
A similar call for unemployed Americans to learn new skills and adapt to the changing economy was issued during the Obama administration, when coal miners left unemployed due to Obama-era energy and environmental policies were told to “learn to code” by media and big tech.
In April of 2014, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg suggested those left unemployed in the energy industry learn to code to find a new set of skills for a changing economy. In 2016, National Public Radio published an opinion piece insisting, again, that unemployed coal miners learn to code to cope with the Obama economy.
The phrase had staying power among Democrats past the Obama years, and as recently as December of 2019, presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden urged coal miners to “learn to code” as a solution to potential unemployment posed by a Democrat in the White House.