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August 03, 2017 05:02 PM

U.S. Labor Secretary Talking Apprenticeships In Sioux Falls

A member of President Trump's administration is in Sioux Falls attending a workforce development workshop. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta is on hand to talk about demand-driven education and excessive licensing. 

"Your education should be a pathway to a family-sustaining job," Acosta said.

Secretary Acosta and Governor Daugaard first met each other at a panel on apprenticeships. Acosta believes too many students are graduating with degrees that don't lead to immediate careers. One example he points to is a criminal justice degree where the student graduates, but can't become a police officer right away. 

"If a college has a semester at sea program and a semester abroad program, why can't you have a semester at the police academy program? So when you graduate college you have a job waiting," Acosta said. 

Acosta says apprenticeships are key to filling the six-million unfilled jobs in the country with skilled workers. Daugaard agrees and hopes students look up opportunities to fill hands-on roles in health care or high-need technical areas.

"Obviously, we want kids to follow their dreams but they can't be too dreamy. They need to be concrete and realistic, as well. So they should follow their dreams with their eyes open," Daugaard said. 

Daugaard and Acosta encourage educators and businesses to talk with each other in order to develop better options for students. Acosta and the Trump administration will continue to push the earn while you learn education model. 

"Education that focuses on the skills demanded by the workforce, skills that lead to well-paying jobs," Acosta said. 

Acosta says one in four Americans need a license to work. He'd like to see licenses that don't make sense eliminated or streamlined to make things easier for workers. 

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