WAUKESHA — President Donald Trump said during his visit Tuesday he and Gov. Scott Walker have engaged in talks with major electronics manufacturer about bringing jobs to Wisconsin.
“Just backstage, we were negotiating with a major, major incredible manufacturer of phones and computers and televisions and I think they’re going to give the governor a very happy surprise very soon,” Trump said during a roundtable discussion at Waukesha County Technical College, according to a pool report.
Trump did not disclose the name of the company. Walker traveled to Japan earlier this month, but his administration has not disclosed who he met with on the trip.
Trump held the roundtable with a group of 20 participants including state officials, education officials, manufacturing representatives and students following a tour of the college. The event was closed to local press.
Trump praised the facilities at WCTC, which he said “aren’t your normal lecture halls. But in a certain way, they are far more beautiful. You learn incredible skills like welding and repair.”
According to the pool report, Trump said “one of the most important questions facing” young people is access to training and education to get good-paying jobs.
He noted while he was in college there were some who didn’t have a lot of ability or didn’t like what they were doing, but were good at working on things such as engines. It is those people he is trying to help, he said, according to the pool report.
Trump said the trades keep the nation going.
“We are going to do everything we can to make sure more young people have opportunities,” said Trump, who announced that he would release another portion of his apprenticeship initiative Wednesday.
Trump also praised Walker’s $3.9 million apprenticeship initiative, which provides grants to place high school students into apprenticeships.
Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, noted during the campaign business leaders said they had problems finding skilled labor and that technical colleges were helping to meet that need.
“Today we have seen first hand the success of these skills based programs,” she said.
Walker highlighted Wisconsin’s 3.2 percent unemployment rate and high labor participation rate, but said that makes it hard to find people to fill jobs.
Following the roundtable, Trump headed to a fundraiser for Walker with the top tickets going for $20,000 apiece. Walker’s campaign said the event was closed to the media.
Before heading to Waukesha, Trump told those assembled at General Mitchell International Airport Dems have let Americans down “big league” on health care and no matter how good a bill Republicans in Congress produce, it will not draw a swing vote from the other side.
Calling Dems “obstructionists,” Trump said American citizens deserve better and he hoped the U.S. Senate would act soon on a health care bill.
“Millions of American families, and I mean millions, continue to suffer from Obamacare while congressional Democrats obstruct our efforts to rescue them,” Trump said.
Trump said he expects the GOP plan to get no Dem support.
“No matter how good it is, we will get no obstructionist Democrat votes,” Trump said. “No matter how good it is — if it’s the greatest healthcare plan ever devised, we will get zero votes by the obstructionists, the Democrats. It’s time to give American families quality, reliable, affordable healthcare, and that’s what we are working very hard to do. And we’ll get it done.”
As he spoke on the tarmac, the president was flanked by two families his administration called “victims” of Obamacare. The White House said Robert Stoll, of Burlington, closed his small business after the “Great Recession” and retired. He was enrolled in a high-risk pool, but it was disbanded after the Affordable Care Act became law and was put into the exchanges. His premiums went from $780 to $1,500 a month, resulting in his wife Sarah beginning a part-time job.
Meanwhile, Michael and Tammy Kushman, of Marinette, purchased health care through his former employer. But in 2015 he was put into the exchanges and his monthly premiums went from $625 a month to $1,020 after he had to shift to a different plan once his insurer pulled out of the exchange. That premium is now $1,422 a month, the White House said.
“These are sad but familiar stories in Wisconsin, where Obamacare premiums have doubled,” Trump said. “Obamacare is one of the greatest catastrophes that our country has signed into law, and the victims are innocent, hard-working families.”
Following the brief remarks at at the airport, the president was headed to Waukesha County Technical College and was expected to have a roundtable discussion with 20 participants on how to fill skilled jobs, the White House said. Gov. Scott Walker was among those scheduled to join him.
The president also was scheduled to do a fundraiser for Walker Tuesday night with the top tickets going for $20,000 apiece. Walker’s campaign said the event was closed to the media.
On a conference call ahead of Trump’s visit, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca and Rep. Katrina Shankland slammed the president’s proposed cuts for job training programs and the Department of Labor.
Barca, D-Kenosha, said that just like Walker, Trump is “posing a bait and switch on workers” by refusing to invest adequately in technical colleges and helping address the skills gap.
Shankland, D-Stevens Point, also highlighted an effort from Joint Finance Democrats to make tuition at the tech colleges free — which GOP lawmakers shot down.
“[The] Republican policy of failing to invest in higher education and cutting our workforce development agency when we need investment is the wrong direction,” she said.