IBM Announces 2,000 New Jobs for Vets in Effort to Woo White House

IBM (IBM) is the latest company to roll out a jobs announcement in an effort to impress the Trump administration.

The company announced plans to hire 2,000 U.S. veterans over the next four years at the White House on Friday, March 17, during a meeting between President Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel regarding workforce development and vocational training. IBM CEO Ginni Rometty attended the meeting, along with a handful of other executives, including Dow Chemical's (DOW) Andrew Liveris and Salesforce's (CRM) Marc Benioff.

"I'm glad that the leaders of so many companies represented today have recently launched successful programs right here in the United States. And we need that because we're training people as the jobs are pouring back in," Trump said while addressing press during the meeting. Rometty sat to his left and later announced the initiative, which is part of a larger push to hire 25,000 workers through 2020.

"The men and women who have served in our country's armed forces have unique talents and skill sets that make them a natural fit for some of the technology industry's most exciting fields," said Diane Gherson, IBM's Senior Vice President of Human Resources, in a statement.

IBM said it has also expanded its nationwide program to train veterans in software and touted its "new collar jobs" program for positions that don't require college degrees. It is also opening 20 more of its P-TECH schools, which allow students to get combined high school and associates degrees, in the United States.

Rometty has had an interesting dynamic with the Trump administration since the real estate magnate's November election.

She penned an open letter to Trump soon after his victory to voice support for his tax reform plans and outlining other initiatives where she perceives overlap with IBM. The outreach garnered backlash, prompting one employee to quit.

Rometty, 59, is a member of Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum, a group of executives tapped to advise Trump led by Blackstone's (BX) Stephen Schwarzman.

IBM sent a memo to workers in the wake of Trump's first immigration ban in January to offer support to affected employees, stressing that the path forward "is a path of engagement and openness to the world." In February, Rometty sent a letter, obtained by Fortune, to her team addressing the order and her participation in the president's business advisory group.

"Some have suggested that we should not engage with the U.S. administration. I disagree," she wrote. "Our experience has taught us that engagement -- reaching out, listening and having authentic dialogue -- is the best path to good outcomes. IBM does not espouse a partisan or political point of view."

She said she had discussed with the president and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly ways to use advanced technology to drive national security imperatives "while also permitting lawful implementation and travel." She said she explained that "this is not an either/or choice."

IBM's Friday announcement seemingly is designed to be a Trump-pleaser. The president has often spoken about his attention to vets, and on Friday morning, he attended a listening session on veterans' affairs with VA Secretary David Shulkin.

IBM is the latest in a string of companies to make jobs and investments announcements in an effort to impress Trump, even if the initiatives aren't always new. Intel (INTC) in February announced a $7 billion factory in Arizona. It made the same announcement in 2011.

Trump has developed an affinity for naming companies that have publicized jobs initiatives under his watch, including General Motors (GM) , Walmart (WMT) and Ford (F) . With Friday's veterans reveal, IBM might soon join his list.

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