Ivanka Trump returns to Illinois

The president's daughter will tout worker training in Godfrey — and stump for a congressman

Ivanka Trump returns to Illinois Wednesday after joining her father in Granite City last month. (One Illinois/Ted Cox)

Ivanka Trump returns to Illinois Wednesday after joining her father in Granite City last month. (One Illinois/Ted Cox)

By Ted Cox

Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump's daughter and "assistant to the president," returns to Illinois Wednesday to tout job training.

Trump will visit Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, just inland and north of Alton on the Mississippi River, where she'll focus on the welding program there as an illustration of how training can address skilled jobs that aren't being filled.

She'll also be joined by U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, of Taylorville, in what amounts to a campaign boost for the Republican.

According to White House spokeswoman Jessica Ditto, Trump will be touting the president's newly created National Council for the American Worker, which is intended to spearhead the drive to fill skilled positions. Ditto said on a media conference call Tuesday that there are 6.6 million unfilled jobs nationally and only 6.1 million workers to fill them. "We want to marry those two," she said.

Ditto pointed to how the new national council, announced last month, includes a "pledge to the American worker" to create 4 million new jobs. She added that "dozens" of top U.S. firms had already signed on to meet that goal. She cited estimates that 73 million U.S. workers could lose their jobs to automation, innovation, and economic turmoil by 2030, reinforcing the need for retraining. 

Trump is scheduled to tour the welding facility at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, accompanied by Davis and college President Dale Chapman. Afterward, they'll hold a roundtable discussion with students and local business leaders.

Ditto granted that it was no coincidence that Trump was returning to the greater St. Louis metropolitan area in Illinois just weeks after visiting the U.S. Steel Granite City Works with the president. They were joined there by Davis and fellow U.S. Reps. Mike Bost, of Murphysboro, and John Shimkus, of Collinsville. Bost is running for re-election against St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly, and Davis faces a challenge in the 13th District from Democratic nominee Betsy Dirksen Londrigan. Ditto called it "an important district for the president."


Ted Cox