American companies investing in American workers, as opposed to hiring overseas is exactly what Trump promised to the America voters. He’s not wasting any time convincing large companies like IBM he wasn’t just making empty campaign promises.

IBM Chief Executive Officer Ginni Rometty said she plans to hire about 25,000 people in the U.S. and invest $1 billion over the next four years, laying out her vision for filling technology jobs in America on the eve of a meeting of industry leaders with President-elect Donald Trump.

Rometty, who is on Trump’s advisory panel of business leaders, will join Facebook Inc.’s Sheryl Sandberg, Inc.’s Jeff Bezos and Alphabet Inc.’s Larry Page and Eric Schmidt at a summit with Trump Wednesday in New York that is said to focus on jobs.

During the run-up to the election, Trump made employment issues a mainstay of his campaign, promising to scrap trade deals he viewed as draining jobs from the country and impose tariffs on imports if necessary. He has since claimed credit for preventing thousands of manufacturing jobs from moving overseas and used state incentives to strike a deal with Carrier, a unit of United Technologies Corp., to pull back on its plans to move some operations to Mexico.

Trump wasn’t so complimentary about IBM’s firing/hiring practices. When speaking at a rally in on November 7th in Minneapolis, Trump accused American multinational tech giant IBM of laying off 500 Americans and shifting their jobs to India and other countries.

Trump said that IBM had fired around 500 people working at Minneapolis, in Minnesota. He added that, if elected, his administration would bar such companies from moving jobs from America and warned of levying 35 percent tax for products made overseas by such companies, reported PTI.

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“IBM laid off 500 workers in Minneapolis and moved their jobs to India and other countries. A Trump administration will stop the jobs from leaving America, and we will stop the jobs from leaving Minnesota,” Trump said while addressing the rally in Minneapolis.

Rometty penned a letter to Trump following his election.

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“Last Tuesday night you spoke about bringing the country together to build a better future, and the opportunity to harness the creative talent of people for the benefit of all,” she began. “I am writing to offer ideas that I believe will help achieve the aspiration you articulated and that can advance a national agenda in a time of profound change.” Click here for entire letter.

Rometty is continuing what is emerging as a formula among technology companies: in conjunction with meetings with Trump in his Manhattan tower, pledge to create jobs and invest billions of dollars in the U.S., even if the plans had already been in the works since before he was elected. The advantage for companies is that it can deflect criticism from the new administration that the industry is shifting jobs offshore, while also giving Trump a way to take credit for job creation goals that may have little to do with his election.

IBM said in March it had more than 25,000 positions open globally and that it had started to cut some jobs in the U.S. as part of a “workforce rebalancing” in an effort to add staff with cloud and other specific skills.

Over the past few years, IBM — like many large U.S.-based companies — has been criticized for eliminating thousands of jobs in the country and moving resources to places such as India. The company reported fewer employees at the end of 2013 than the beginning of the year for the first time in a decade, and reduced its total workforce by 12 percent the next year. IBM said it hired more U.S. employees last year than it had in the five years prior.

In an op-ed piece in USA Today, Rometty said many technology jobs don’t require an advanced degree and she encouraged government investment in vocational education and training.

“We are hiring because the nature of work is evolving,” Rometty wrote. That’s also why many of the jobs are hard to fill, she said. “What matters most is that these employees – with jobs such as cloud computing technicians and services delivery specialists – have relevant skills, often obtained through vocational training.”

In the op-ed, Rometty called for an update in early 2017 to the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which provides federal funding to vocation and technical programs. She also highlighted an education model — that IBM helped design — of a six-year public high school, which combines traditional coursework, community college classes and internships focused on preparing students for technical jobs. IBM will work with states to open at least 20 more of these schools in the next year, she wrote.

“We will need new kinds of collaboration – involving federal and state governments, public school systems, community colleges and private business, across multiple industries,” she said. –Bloomberg

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