Data and documents are the lifeblood of the federal government, and Jay Trainer is one of their chief caretakers. As the new executive for agency services at the National Archives and Records Administration, Trainer oversees five programs that manage billions of information sources from across all three branches of the government.
“We’re dealing with agencies from the Cabinet level all the way down to very small, independent agencies,” Trainer said during an interview this summer at the historic National Archives building, which houses the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. “Our staff is in daily interaction with federal agencies, either for records that they want to send to us, or if they need access to those records while they’re with us, to the disposition of those records when the federal government has determined that they no longer need them.”
Only a small percentage of all those documents — roughly 3 percent by Trainer’s estimate — find their way into the Archives of the United States, where they’re kept forever.
Trainer has literally devoted his entire career to federal record-keeping. A native of East Liverpool, Ohio, just downriver from Pittsburgh, Trainer was studying history at the University of Dayton in 1988 when he became a student trainee at the Federal Records Center in Dayton that is one of 18 facilities around the country operated by the National Archives. He never left the agency, moving to its Washington headquarters in 1991 to work in various management and budgetary positions.
In 2004, Trainer became assistant director of the Federal Records Centers program and in the course of his 25 years with the agency he has visited every one of the facilities run by the Archives, “from Boston to Seattle.” In June he was named executive for agency services, overseeing the Federal Records Center, the National Declassification Center, the Information Security Oversight Office, the Office of Government Information Systems, and the Office of the Chief Records Officer.
Trainer spends most of his time at the Archives’ records facility in College Park, Md., where an estimated 4 billion data sources are stored. But he also often goes to the Archives headquarters down the street from the Capitol, a visit that he never tires of making.
“When you’re in this building before it’s open to the public, you walk through the rotunda, and no matter how many times you do it, it’s just very inspiring,” he said.
What We're Following See More »
Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”
Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.
Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.
Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”