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Two graduates of ABC Pelican Chapter's Baton Rouge Training Center and one from the ABC Heart of America apprenticeship program were in Washington last week to attend the one-year anniversary celebration of President Trump’s Pledge to America’s Workers at the White House. Last year, ABC pledged to educate and upskill at least 500,000 construction workers over the next five years during the kick-off event.

Photo courtesy of the White House

Representing ABC at the White House was Tim Gros, an ISC Constructors employee and graduate of the ABC Pelican Chapter's Baton Rouge Training Center, who spent the past two years earning more electrical and instrumentation credentials to take the next step in his career, which increased his salary by 24%. Gros, who shared his personal story with presidential advisor Ivanka Trump before the event, was interviewed about his construction career and experience at the White House on Varney and Co., Fox and Friends First and NBC4i.

Another graduate of the Baton Rouge Training Center in attendance was Sharon Ramsey, who previously worked as a nurse and accountant, and completed her instrumentation education at the age of 62. She currently tutors students going through similar craft training programs and wants her story to be an example of how women can succeed in a male-dominated field. Representing the ABC Heart of America apprenticeship program was Jeff Hawk, who enrolled as an electrical apprentice in September 2018. Hawk worked as a front desk clerk in a hotel and wanted to expand his career opportunities by becoming an electrician.

In 2018 alone, ABC members invested $1.6 billion in craft, leadership and safety education, up from $1.1 billion in 2013, according to a recent survey. The 45% increase in spending resulted in nearly twice as many course attendees—more than 980,000—receiving education to advance their careers in commercial and industrial construction.

Since President Trump signed the executive order to establish the National Council for the American Worker on July 19, 2018, more than 200 companies and organizations have signed the Pledge to America’s Worker, committing to offering more than 9.9 million new education and training opportunities for American students and workers over the next five years.