Trump to overhaul federal hiring to make skills priority over college education

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President Trump is going to direct the federal government to change its priorities concerning hiring.

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Trump wants an applicant's skills to be considered over a college degree, according to administration and industry officials.

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The new direction will be highlighted in two executive orders that Trump is set to sign at an afternoon meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board.

Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and adviser, will attend the meeting as co-chair of the advisory board. She has worked on improving job training to meet employers’ changing needs.

The federal government is the nation's largest employer with 2.1 million civilian workers, excluding postal service employees.

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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the board’s other co-chair, told the Associated Press, the need for skills training and apprenticeships is as great as it was before the coronavirus pandemic forced millions of people out of work.

“Americans are eager to get to work but they need our help,” Ross told AP.

The first executive order extends the President’s National Council for the American Worker and the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board for another year.

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The second order directs federal agencies to replace degree-based hiring with skills-based hiring to make the hiring process more equitable and meritorious.

The Office of Personnel Management will be responsible for implementing the president’s order.

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IBM is among the companies that have moved in this direction. Last year, 15 percent of its new U.S. hires had nontraditional backgrounds because they were evaluated based on skills instead of looking only at their degrees.

Ginni Rometty, IBM's executive chairman is expected to attend the meeting.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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