Critics have called this new initiative "tone deaf."

By Christopher Luu
Jul 14, 2020 @ 5:25 pm
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Today, the White House unveiled a new ad aimed at bolstering the American spirit and encouraging the more than 50 million people that are currently unemployed in the U.S.A. to simply "find something new." CNN's Kate Bennett reports that the new Find Something New initiative launched under the watch of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, which is chaired by Ivanka Trump. Done in collaboration with the AdCouncil, IBM, Apple, and Business Roundtable, the new ad suggests that now, while the country spirals deep into a depression, is the perfect time to pivot and try something new.

"Now, as a result of COVID, people need to, unfortunately, in some cases learn a completely new skill," Trump said on Tuesday. "But that is also an opportunity to be put on for a new trajectory for themselves and their lives and we want to facilitate that connection back to the workforce and make it as smooth as possible."

Credit: Pool / Pool

Trump doubled down on that sunny outlook on Twitter, where she wrote, "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."

CNN notes that 20.5 million people lost their jobs in April alone and while May and June showed growth in jobs, the American economy was still down 15 million jobs. After the White House's announcement today, #FindSomethingNew was trending on Twitter, though probably not in any way that the administration wanted. Critics called the entire campaign "tone deaf" and blamed unemployment on President Donald Trump's "gross negligence." Refinery29 notes that the move is an example of the Trump administration pushing the responsibility of reinstating American jobs onto the general public and not the government.

Ivanka is familiar with exploring different career trajectories, however, so she could be speaking from experience. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, she started her career as a model before moving on to helming a clothing and footwear line, operating a fine jewelry business, becoming a published author, and eventually becoming an executive at the Trump family hotel business. 

The "Find Something New" initiative doesn't address the very real possibility of more job loss as many states shut down again to curb the spread of the coronavirus after reopening. Though Ivanka didn't go quite as far as to show off a gaggle of Fresian horses as many Americans wondered whether or not they'd be getting a second stimulus check, proposing that they forge a new path and learn new skills looks just as bad as a stable full of $50,000 horses.