White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Created to Support Opportunity Zone Program

On December 12th, President Trump signed an Executive Order to create the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council to provide coordinated support for Opportunity Zones across the federal government. The Council will be led by Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and include representatives from 13 federal agencies.

Over 8,700 Opportunity Zones have been designated throughout the United States to spur investment in distressed communities. These zones—home to about 35 million Americans—could attract over $100 billion in private funding spurred by a federal tax incentive included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The Council is tasked with ensuring that relevant federal programs sufficiently support the Opportunity Zone program and maximize its effectiveness. Specifically, over the next year, the Council will propose:

  • changes to federal policies to encourage public and private investment in Opportunity Zones and other distressed areas;
  • changes to federal policies that would help state, local and tribal governments more effectively harness federal resources in Opportunity Zones and other distressed areas; and,
  • best practices for making public and private investments in Opportunity Zones and other distressed communities.

In addition, the Council will determine how to best evaluate the Opportunity Zone program and the efficacy of the actions of the federal government to support Opportunity Zone-related investments.

 

New National Council of the American Worker Seeks Opportunities, Parternships for Worker Training

Amid concerns that the U.S. labor force doesn’t have the right skills to fill available positions in a variety of industries, President Trump recently signed an executive order to create the National Council for the American Worker. This new Council will be co-chaired by the Commerce and Labor Secretaries, along with the President’s Assistant for Domestic Policy and the Advisor overseeing the Office of Economic Initiatives. Membership will include other top Administration officials from a variety of agencies. The Council will develop a national workforce development strategy that outlines recommendations for how a variety of public and private sector entities can deliver needed education and skills-based training.

Several major companies participated in an event highlighting the executive order. Over two dozen companies committed to create a combined 3.8 million apprenticeships and training opportunities. At that event, President Trump noted that constantly changing technology and innovations make it necessary for today’s workers to continue building upon their education and skills well beyond any time spent in a classroom as a young adult. He noted that there are more than 6.7 million unfilled jobs that properly-trained workers could fill.

The administration hopes the initiative spurs partnerships between industry, educational institutions, governments, and other organizations to coordinate and develop additional training opportunities that can help Americans better secure well-paying jobs while addressing employers’ needs for highly-skilled workers.

Executive Order Establishing the President’s National Council for the American Worker

List of companies that have made the Pledge to America’s Workers