A brief chat with Secretary Acosta


What priorities can AAHOA members and small business owners look forward to over the next two years of this administration?

President Trump has a mission to create jobs, more jobs, and even more jobs. This Administration is working to give job creators the flexibility – the freedom – to grow and thrive.

Because of President Trump’s leadership, about 3 million jobs have been created since Election Day 2016 and unemployment has fallen to a 17-year low. Consumer confidence is soaring, taxes are lower, and optimism is back in abundance.

Moving forward, the Administration wants to curb over-regulation, expand apprenticeships, and properly align the nation’s workforce development programs.

What specific benefits are you seeing as a result of tax reform on small businesses and the national workforce?

The President’s tax reform is allowing American job creators of all sizes to invest more in the American workforce. As of April 2018, more than 4 million Americans working from more than 500 companies have received bonuses, raises, 401(k) increases, or other benefits because of the President’s tax reform. Employers know that a more skilled workforce benefits their bottom line, and many companies have announced new investments in workforce development.

Job creators are also expanding their operations in the United States. As a result of the President’s tax reform, America no longer has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. Accordingly, investment is returning to our shores as doing business in the United States becomes competitive once again.

How is the Department of Labor helping small business owners address workforce shortages?

Open jobs are both an opportunity and a challenge. This Administration is committed to helping Americans bridge the skills gap. We are focused on expanding opportunities for individuals to earn while they learn.

The President’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion – which includes leaders from business, labor, trade and industry groups, and educational institutions, as well as public officials – is laying the foundation for a new Industry-Recognized Apprenticeship model. The apprenticeships will be demand-driven, responsive to our dynamic economy, and they will not be micromanaged from Washington.

Additionally, the Administration is working to address the challenge of excessive occupational licensing. In 1950, only one in 20 jobs required an occupational license. By the latest count, more than 1,100 separate occupations require a license in at least one state. More than one in four Americans need a license to work.

I have traveled all over the country encouraging state leaders to eliminate unnecessary licenses, streamline those necessary for health and safety, and pursue reciprocity agreements with neighboring states.

What is one initiative on which you are working that you wish received more attention?

With approximately 6.1 million job openings, this Administration is using every tool at its disposal to address the national skills gap. As part of that effort, the Departments of Labor and Education are working together closely to properly align the nation’s workforce development programs – with a focus on helping Americans develop the skills they need to get hired and excel. To cite one example, the President’s infrastructure plan includes common-sense proposals to make it easier for Americans to access skills-based learning by reforming a cumbersome federal bureaucracy that too often limits Americans to using federal assistance for traditional educational programs. Americans deserve the opportunity to earn good, safe jobs, with lifelong workplace education.

Providing job creators relief from burdensome regulations is another area where the Administration is making progress.

As an entrepreneur, President Trump knows that many of our labor laws and regulations were not written for today’s economy. Many of these laws and regulations are roadblocks to innovation and growth.

The Department of Labor is committed to the rule of law in carrying out regulations. As directed by President Trump, the Department is working to reduce regulations and control regulatory costs that unnecessarily restrict the liberty of Americans to build their businesses and work their jobs.

How can hoteliers serve as a resource to you and your team to help bring about good labor policy?

Two out of every three new jobs are created by small businesses. As small business owners and job creators, your individual voices deeply resonate with President Trump and this Administration. From growing apprenticeships to the effects that regulation has on your businesses, your insights matter.

The Administration has worked productively with AAHOA in the past, and as the Department of Labor moves forward with regulatory activities that are relevant to business and the hotel industry, we want to hear from AAHOA members


Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.