As nationwide unemployment rates remain high, the White House is stepping in with a new jobs plan that's already inciting criticism. On Tuesday, July 14, the Trump administration launched the "Find Something New" program under the direction of White House adviser Ivanka Trump and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The initiative, which encourages Americans who are out of work to "find something new," is being critiqued as insensitive for its timing, and these 20 tweets about the White House's "Find Something New" jobs campaign don't hold back.
The new White House ad campaign touts the benefits of vocational training as an alternative to a two-year or four-year college education, which seems like a good message at face value. The campaign shares stories of how people were able to pivot in their careers thanks to specialized training, and the website offers various resources like career self-assessments and links to lists of remote jobs. Collaborators on the campaign include companies like Apple and IBM. Since the start of the pandemic in mid-March, 40 million Americans have filed for unemployment, according to The New York Times. As of the June 2020 numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. unemployment rate stood at 11.1%. That's down from a high of 14.7% in April, but it still means some 17.8 million Americans are currently without jobs, according to the Department of Labor.
Ivanka Trump emphasized the need for unemployed citizens to be flexible with their job search, saying in a statement reported by the Associated Press, "There has never been a more critical time for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to be aware of the multiple pathways to career success and gain the vocational training and skills they need to fill jobs in a changing economy."
However, considering the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, spikes in case numbers in many states, and COVID-related unemployment benefits scheduled to end July 31, many are accusing Trump of being out of touch with the reality for Americans who are out of work and struggling to get by. Many were unhappy with the apparent suggestion that the solution for rampant unemployment and disappearing jobs is for individual people to just "find something new." Elite Daily reached out to the White House for comment on the criticisms, but did not immediately hear back. Following the announcement of the initiative on Twitter, many took to the social media platform to call out Trump — who's currently working for her father — for the timing and insensitivity of her message.
As pointed out in reporting from Mother Jones, the Find Something New website itself is mainly filled with links taking job seekers to other career websites, with little new instruction or guidance. The White House did not immediately reply to Elite Daily's inquiry regarding any additional plans to help currently unemployed individuals. Additionally, many Twitter users noted that an initiative asking people to choose between investing in learning new skills and paying for basic necessities just wasn't practical in the current economic climate. Others pointed out the apparent hypocrisy of a woman who was born into vast wealth suggesting people who are out of work simply pivot careers.
Trump has yet to publicly respond to the backlash against the new program, which is slated to go until the end of the year. However, the White House is reportedly planning to release more ads for online and print outlets, as well as TV, in the coming months.