Tim Cook, Ginni Rometty Join Trump’s Panel on A.I. and Workforce Automation

Apple CEO Tim Cook and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty are joining President Donald Trump’s business advisory board to help come up with solutions to prepare millions of Americans for the shift toward automation and artificial intelligence in the workplace.

President Trump established the National Council For the American Worker through an executive order last July and called on the group to create strategies to “foster an environment of lifelong learning and skills-based training, and cultivate a demand-driven approach to workforce development.” The U.S. Department of Commerce began accepting nominations for members of the Advisory Board in August and now they’re ready to get to work. A list of 25 board members was released on Wednesday.

Cook and Rometty will be joined by other business executives, including the CEOs of Walmart, Lockheed Martin and Home Depot. The group also includes two governors and leaders from trade groups. The board will be co-chaired by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Ivanka Trump.

“We want all Americans to have the skills and opportunities to secure good paying jobs and successfully navigate technological disruptions and the rapidly changing nature of work,” Ivanka Trump said in a statement.

One of the first orders of business for the group will be to create a national campaign to promote new education pathways to arm workers with the skills they’ll need to compete in the workplace of the future.

There were 7.3 million job openings in December, according to data released this week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That data shows a “mismatch between the skills needed and those being taught, requiring immediate attention to help more Americans enter the workforce,” according to a release from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

It was not immediately known when the first meeting will be, however the executive order calls on council members to meet at least once per quarter.

Trump has had mixed success in bringing together business leaders at the White House. He dissolved the American Manufacturing Council and the Strategic and Policy Forum around the same time many executives announced they were dropping out of the councils in response to the president’s response to the violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virg. in August 2017.