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IBM CEO pens letter to Donald Trump, says tech can bring America together

By Laurie Fullerton | Freelance Writer

November 15, 2016 | 2 min read

In an unprecedented move, IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty issued a letter to President-elect Donald Trump today detailing steps to bring America together with technology as a central theme. IBM is the biggest tech employer in the US, and her letter addressed a need for "new collar" IT jobs, saying that today, IBM does not always require it's employees to have a college degree. She said relevant skill is what "matters most."

IBM CE) Ginni Rometty
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty

"I know that you are committed to help America's economy grow in ways that are good for all of its people," Rometty wrote in the letter to Trump obtained by CNBC. "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."

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The IBM chief advocated for Trump to create "new collar" IT jobs that can require job training that might begin in hybrid high school-to-college curriculum, with more vocational classes taught with an emphasis on mentoring and real-world experience.

Rometty also agreed with Trump's ideas on tax reform and spending on infrastructure, but added an important tech caveat.

"The country should focus on infrastructure investments that incorporate Internet of Things technology and artificial intelligence to improve performance," she noted.

Moreover, Rometty, said the Trump administration should apply lessons from the private sector when it comes to reforming health care and that data should be used to fight waste and inefficiencies, bring money home to invest in the US and take care of veterans with the world's best technologies.

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