automaker

Ivanka Trump, GM’s Mary Barra visit automaker’s Michigan technical training facility

White House adviser Ivanka Trump and General Motors CEO Mary Barra toured the automaker’s design and tech facility in suburban Detroit on Wednesday.

President Trump’s daughter visited the GM’s Technical Learning University in Warren, Mich. The event was hosted by Barra. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Karen Dunn Kelley also attended.

Ivanka was there to “learn more about GM’s programs to improve the technical ability of their skilled trades workers and manufacturing engineers,” the White House said in a statement. The group was to meet apprentices and employees on campus and interact with a number of manufacturing and educational stations at the technical university.

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“The President built the strongest economy in our lifetime and he will do it again. Prioritizing the American worker and their family is the top priority, and I’m proud to visit General Motors’ Technical Learning University, where workers are learning on-the-job while earning a paycheck,” Ivanka said in a statement before the visit, according to ClickOnDetroit. “Detroit, GM, and the talented GM workforce are ensuring the great American comeback is underway and I’m looking forward to seeing firsthand.”

Ivanka was in Detroit on Wednesday to visit the earliest signer of the White House’s “Pledge to America’s Workers,” an initiative signed by President Trump last year to create more and better jobs for Americans by providing education and training opportunities for students and workers.

In June, the president signed an executive order overhauling the federal hiring process, requiring agencies to prioritize skills rather than college degrees when selecting candidates. The order championed private companies who have already increased apprenticeship programs and “providing more Americans with pathways to family-sustaining careers.”

The Michigan Democratic Party released a statement Tuesday criticizing Ivanka Trump and her father’s administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic given the economic fallout in Michigan that followed.

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“Ivanka can try to spin Michigan voters all she wants, but nothing will cover for the fact that Donald Trump has failed our state. After Trump’s disastrous COVID-19 response, Michigan has seen over 100,000 COVID-19 cases, an unemployment rate that has doubled since March, and no plan to put an end to the crisis,” the statement read.

“Four years ago, Donald Trump promised Warren voters, ‘you won’t lose one plant,’ but since then his failed leadership has tanked Michigan’s economy and shuttered factories throughout our state. Ivanka’s empty promises can’t change that fact.”

Meanwhile, outside of Michigan, General Motors says it has finished making 30,000 medical breathing machines for the U.S. government to help treat coronavirus patients.

The Department of Health and Human Services contracted with GM to build the ventilators at a converted auto electronics plant in Kokomo, Ind., at a cost of $489.4 million. The machines were designed by Ventec Life Systems of the Seattle area, and GM ramped up production in about a month when it appeared the U.S. and other countries would run short of ventilators. The ventilators were to be finished by Monday.

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GM says Tuesday it has turned over control of the Kokomo operation to Ventec, which will continue to make ventilators there and in Bothell, Wash.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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