“Apple CEO Tim Cook said that his company will start a $1 billion fund to promote advanced manufacturing jobs in the United States,” Elizabeth Gurdus reports for CNBC. “‘We’re announcing it today. So you’re the first person I’m telling,’ Cook told ‘Mad Money’ host Jim Cramer on Wednesday. ‘Well, not the first person because we’ve talked to a company that we’re going to invest in already,’ he said, adding that Apple will announce the first investment later in May.”

“The fund comes as President Donald Trump has made bringing back manufacturing jobs a big part of his agenda, and it fits into Apple’s larger effort to create jobs across its spectrum, from its own employees to app developers to its suppliers,” Gurdus reports. “‘By doing that, we can be the ripple in the pond. Because if we can create many manufacturing jobs around, those manufacturing jobs create more jobs around them because you have a service industry that builds up around them,’ the CEO said.”

 
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Peter Thiel, center, and Apple CEO Tim Cook listen to then-Republican presidential-elect Donald Trump during a meeting with technology industry leaders at Trump Tower in New York, NY on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016

Peter Thiel, center, and Apple CEO Tim Cook listen to Republican presidential-elect Donald Trump during a meeting with technology industry leaders at Trump Tower in New York, NY on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016. (Photo: Jabin Botsford | The Washington Post | Getty Images)

“While on the campaign trail last year, Donald J. Trump lamented the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States and set his sights on companies like Apple to help rectify the situation. ‘I’m going to get Apple to start making their computers and their iPhones on our land, not in China,’ he said,” Katie Benner and Nelson D. Schwartz report for The New York Times. “On Wednesday, Apple appeared to meet President Trump halfway.”

“While it did not announce a new manufacturing facility with thousands of manufacturing jobs, Apple, the world’s most valuable public company, said it planned to dedicate resources to American job creation with a $1 billion fund to invest in advanced manufacturing in the United States,” Benner and Schwartz report. “In introducing the fund, Apple joined a growing list of companies that have said in recent months that they will add, promote or keep jobs — many of them related to manufacturing — in the United States.”

“Some critics have suggested the Trump administration is too focused on manufacturing, as opposed to more quickly cultivating service occupations — in the leisure and hospitality or health care industries, for instance,” Benner and Schwartz report. “But for the roughly two-thirds of Americans who lack a four-year college degree, manufacturing remains one of the few sectors that can deliver a middle-class income. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical factory worker earns more than $26 an hour, compared with $14 an hour for the average hotel and food services employee.”

“Apple’s focus with its new fund is on a slice of the industry known as advanced manufacturing,” Benner and Schwartz report. “That is a catchall term, but typically it involves the production of high-value-added products in sectors like technology, aerospace, automobiles, sustainable energy and medical equipment.”

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MacDailyNews Take: Good for Apple and for Apple’s home country.

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