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James Sherk ’03 is a labor adviser to Pres­ident Donald Trump. James Sherk | Courtesy

Another Hillsdale College alumnus has joined the ranks of grad­uates working in Pres­ident Donald Trump’s admin­is­tration. James Sherk ’03 began serving as a White House labor adviser a couple of weeks ago.

“It’s a tremendous pro­fes­sional priv­ilege and a great chance to make a lasting change in America,” Sherk said in an interview with The Col­legian. “I’m going to work as hard as I can to take advantage of this oppor­tunity.”

Sherk, a labor econ­omist and researcher at the Her­itage Foun­dation for the last seven years, has been working with the White House Domestic Policy Council since the end of January and was also part of the Labor Department’s tran­sition team fol­lowing the November election. He served as tem­porary appointee for the Department of Labor, as well.

“I know James well and his family. I knew him well as a student and have kept in touch, espe­cially while he has worked at Her­itage,” Hillsdale College Pres­ident Larry Arnn said in an email. “Impressive young man — always very solid and pro­ductive.”

Sherk is now one of five Hillsdale grad­uates con­firmed to be working within the Trump admin­is­tration.

“Hillsdale stu­dents are smart and hard working,” Arnn said. “And they learn a lot about the world. Maybe that is why they get hired in high places.”

When Sherk was a student at Hillsdale, he served in the Student Fed­er­ation, par­tic­i­pated in the JRR Tolkien Society, and was a member of Hillsdale’s debate team.

He also had a regular byline in The Col­legian, fre­quently writing opinion pieces about the 2000 election, George W. Bush, immi­gration policy, and eco­nomics.

“My eco­nomics edu­cation was tremen­dously ben­e­ficial,” Sherk said. “It’s helped my career in numerous ways and has proved useful on a day to day basis in my role with the Domestic Policy Council.”

In an article titled “Drop it: Con­gress’ stimulus folly,” Sherk wrote that it’s not the government’s job to stim­ulate the economy and create jobs because it pri­marily doesn’t under­stand it.

“One major reason the gov­ernment cannot stim­ulate the economy out of a recession is the infor­mation problem; quite simply, the gov­ernment cannot know enough about the workings of the economy to accom­plish  the plan for its growth,” Sherk said. “The gov­ernment does not and cannot possess the knowledge nec­essary to attempt to plan America’s economy.”

After grad­u­ation, Sherk worked as a labor analyst and policy fellow at the Her­itage Foun­dation in Wash­ington, D.C., where he spent numerous years researching and cri­tiquing minimum wage laws, labor unions inflated influence in the work­force, and former Pres­ident Barack Obama’s labor sta­tistics.

Matthew Spalding, asso­ciate vice pres­ident and dean of edu­ca­tional pro­grams at the Allan P. Kirby Jr. Center for Con­sti­tu­tional Studies and Cit­i­zenship, pre­vi­ously worked with Sherk at the foun­dation and said he will be a great asset to the Trump admin­is­tration.

“He spent a lot of time on labor research and knows it well,” Spalding said. “He is an out­standing addition to the Trump admin­is­tration. He’s a very good appointment.”

 

  • Jen­nifer Melfi

    Anyone have any mem­ories of this guy they would like to share?