Box 3, Folder 11, Document 27

Dublin Core

Text Item Type Metadata



Frank Riessman, Ph.D.
New Careers Development Center
Lita Paniagua
Associate Research Scientist
New Careers Training Laboratory

New York University
November 1967


"Why not say we must train a million unemployed
a year for unfilled jobs that already exist?"

Bernard Asbell asks this cogent question in The New Improved
American,* an analysis of the profound technological changes tak-
ing place in the United States. He was referring to a puzzling
American paradox: an acute shortage of workers coexistent with an
acute shortage of jobs.

While industry spends billions seeking out and training skilled
and professional personnel, it also bears the costs of a high ratio
of employee turnover, and helps to cover the huge losses caused
to society through massive unemployment and underemployment of the
unskilled. The solution of these problems has become an urgent
concern of private enterprise in America.

A New Careers program for industry would embody Mr. Asbell's
Practical point of view. The program's goal: the creation of a
rich resource of industry-oriented, highly skilled manpower, the
reduction of personnel turnover, and the reduction of unemployment
among the low skilled. Its method: expansion of new approaches
to manpowex recruitment, training and education already being
utilized by private enterprise, plus structuring of visible oppor-
tunities for promotion, upgrading and horizontal mobility for all

A New Careers model for industry would requires

“veGraw-Hill, New York ,1965, p.43.



Entry level positions in which workers can be immediately

Training immediately available and intricately connected
to these entry positions.

A visible career ladder between these entry positions
and higher positions within the job hierarchy.

Relevant training and education for higher positions
directly available through the job.

Sharp integration of training and education, because
education is decisive for any major advancement.

The responsibility for packaging this training to be
undertaken by industry (or by a subcontracted training
resource), rather than left to the worker,

Private enterprise has moved to the forefront in the search
for new designs that Will close the gap between the shortage of
skilled manpower and the millions of jobless.

Traditional methods of personnel recruitment are not producing
the workers industry needs fast enough and in sufficient numbers,
and the cost of the persistent effort to find adequate help is high:

The New York Times estimates the yearly volume of its help-
wanted classified and display ads at $30 million. The Los
Angeles Times' volume in help-wanted ads is around $34

An officer of the New York Assn. of Personnel Agencies esti-
mates that 85% of all jobs listed by private employment agen-
cies in New York City include payment of the agency fee by
the employer. "Comparable high percentages of fee-paid jobs
would be found in other major cities", the officer said.
"Many agencies will not even list an opening unless the fee
is paid by the employer. It's a worker's market." (The
average fee is 10% of the first month's salary.)

A survey of hiring costs paid by 17 firms in the Rochester,

N. Y. area (9 manufacturing and 6 non-manufacturing firms)
indicates a total over 3 months (June and November, 1965 and
February, 1966) of $278,000, with 2/3 of this amount reported
by the manufacturing companies, and the balance by the non-
manufacturing. Average cost per hire was $222 for manufacture
ers and $138 for non-manfacturers.

Spurred by the urgency of their requirements, business firms
invest heavily in improving the skills and knowledge of their
employees with educational and training programs:

". »« » In 1965 Business Week estimated a total amount of

$18 billion and Fortune gave a higher figure of $24 billion

(spent by private industry in this area). More recently,

it has been estimated that industry spent $17 billion in
1966 in this area."2

Natl. Industrial Conference Board Record, "Hiring Costs", New York,

January, 1967,
2NAM Reports, Natl. Assn. of Manufacturers, June 19, 1967.


A portion of these amounts was allocated to training programs
designed to tap the unutilized potential of the natinn's unskilled,
underemployed and unemployed labor force. Private enterprise has
also begun developing innovative techniques of recruiting and hiring
so as to bring the disadvantaged into the labor market.

' All indications point to the need for accelerating the drive
to produce workers with sophisticated know-how,

",. . « The importance of developing solutions to unemployment

problems is. . . significant in light of projections of job

needs to 1975 as prepared by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
while our population will increase by 16%, the labor force
will inerease by an estimated 20% to include 94.1 million

workers "1

",. . « About 230,000 skilied and 350,000 semi-skilled workers
are expected to be needed each year to replace those who
retire or die."2

Following are some manpower needs projected to 1975, based on
studies that include patterns of demand and consumer purchasing,
technological development, new products and industries. 3

Millions of Workers Needed by 1975 and Employed in 1964

1975 1964.
Manufacturing 23 17.3
Professional & Technical 13 8.5
Technicians, draftsmen, etc. 1.4 »825
Craftsmen, foremen, etc. 12S 9
Clerical 14 10.7
Sales 5.6 4.5

INatl. Assn. of Manufactureres, op. cit.

2Q0ecupational Outlook Handbook, Bull. 1450., U. S. Dept. of Labor,
1966-67, pp. 363-364.

“compiled from Monthly Labor Review, March-April, 1965, U. S. Dept.
of Labor, reprint 2462.


In the face of such existing and future needs, unemployment
is intolerable. Nevertheless, the millions who languish without
work continue to burden the economy and scholars, legislators,
civic organizations and the press consistently diagnose the frustra-
tions of the unemployed as a leading cause of social disruption.

Concern over the lack of work for the disadvantaged and the

ancillary social ills this causes has brought forth many proposals

for emergency measures. The business community has become increas-=
ingly involved in the discussion and on August 24, 1967 the Urban
Coalition (a grouping of more than 800 community and business leaders
from throughout the U. S.) called for the creation of at least one
million "meaningful and socially useful" Fe

The intent of the emergency measures suggested is laudable,
but such proposals do not focus the problem so directly as does
Bernard Asbell's apt phrase: "Why not say we must train a million
unemployed a year for unfilled jobs that already exist?"

This approach establishes a one-to-one relationship between

industry's demand for skilled workers and the lack of work for

tone term "meaningful" must be defined in two directions. From the
employer's viewpoint meaningful work must supply a real need to his
organization, help him to make a profit and not be subject to
turnover of personnel.

From the employee's viewpoint, meaningful work must do more than
pay a wage. It must motivate him to remain on the job by giving
him a sense of achievement and dignity, realistic opportunities
for steady advancement and the assurance of permanent employment
and continuing employability.

Socially useful work produces goods and services, promotes a higher
standard of living, provides fiscal revenue, creates stability, and
furthers the goals of society. Make-work and dead-end jobs accomplish
few of these aims, except temporarily, principally because they do

not encourage permanence; do not motivate the worker beyond achieves
ing more than his weekly wage; do not build morale and loyalty.

the unemployed, As noted above, many firms are already actively
exploring this direction, However, most programs do not yet go
far beyond equipping the workers to function at the semi-skilled
and entry level. Until now there has not been a complete step by
step linking of training and education from basic skills and know-

ledge to the highly skilled and middle management positions.

To fully achieve such integration it is necessary to create

a practical program that will develop appropriate motivation in
the unemployed or underemployed people so that they will not only
accept entry level positions, but also become via education and
training a reservoir of manpower for the middle line skilled,
administrative, technical and even professional positions,

A design for creating a New Careers program in industry for
those now unskilled would utilize the availability of training for
those thousands of openings as the incentive, the motivational
impetus to bring the disadvantaged into the labor force, Xerox
Corporation discovered in a recent experiment that good incentives
can attract unsuspected numbers of persons ready and willing to work:

hen Xerox announced that skill training and basic education

were available in its Project Step-Up, it found among the
applicants four times as many persons who did not need the

training than those who did, and was able to hire them
immediately as regular employees,.1

1Telephone interview with J. ‘jestbrook MacPherson, ACSiJ, Manpower
Resources Administrator, Xerox Corp., Rochester, N.Y. This would
seem to support a statement by economist Charles Killingsworth:

",. 6 e it seems prcbable that imprcving employment prospects would
tend to pull more people into the labor market and. . . raise the
labor force participation rate." (Testimony before Senate Sub-
commission on Employment and Manpower, Sept. 20, 1963.)



As a solution to unemployment and the dire shortage of skilled
and professional workers in the public sector, the New Careers
approach was introduced with the passage of the Nelson-Scheuer
Amendment in 1966, This legislation provided for the hiring, job-
training and education of nonprofessionals by the public service
agencies in the fields of health, education and welfare. Under its
provisions, persons hired from the disadvantaged community work as
auxiliary personnel and can receive time off from their jobs for
education and training which will equip them to qualify for more
responsible positions, All job classifications within the parti-
cipating public agencies are to be "careerized", that is redefined
and restructured so that employees may move upward gradually toward
semi-professional and professicnal levels as they acquire experience
and the necessary high school and academic education add credentials,
part of which can be obtained during job time,

The New York City Board of Education is Geveloping career

lines for its teaching personnel. A program of advanced

training and education with released time from the job to

attend classes will enable entry-level teacher aides (non-

professionals hired from the disadvantaged community) to

advance to assistant teacher, teacher intern and certified

teacher, with more responsibilities and higher salaries at

each level, The Board has made special arrangements with

local colleges and universities so that the auxiliaries will

receive training, education and academic credit.

In the private sector a similar New Careers program could be
established with funds contributed by government or private founda-

tions to such firms as desired financial aid, The model would

require the following:

i Entry level positions in which workers can be immediately

2. Training immediately available and intricately connected
to these entry positions,

3. A visible career ladder between these entry positions
and higher positions within the job hierarchy.

4. Relevant training and education for higher positions
directly available through the job.

Se Sharp integration of training and education, because
education is decisive for any major advancement,

6. The employer (or a subcontracted training resource) to
be responsible for the packaging of this training and
making it available to the worker, rather than leaving
the responsibility for acquiring training and education
up to the individual effort ofeach worker,

In a sense the career incentive program would be directed
toward the disadvantaged job candidate who asks, "Why should I take
this dead-end beginning job which is boring, dirty and doesn't go

The educational provisions would include making is possible
for the employee to acquire basic knowledge (the 3 R's), high
school equivalency and industry-related higher education leading
to academic degrees. Education would take place, in part, during
working hours with time released from the job for attending classes,
The employee could advance to semi-skilled, skilled or middle manage-~
ment and administrative positions as heacquired education and train-=
ing provided by the company, and demonstrated his capabilities,

Funding for firms unable to carry the full costs of partici-

pating in the program might be provided by government or private


foundations. Such funding would contribute toward entry level
salaries, the special training and education programs, and outside

technical assistance on such matters as setting up career line

structures, providing supportive services, etc.

Private enterprise would have full autonomy on all aspects
of administering such a program, including selection of personnel,
development of training methods and educational curricula, choice

of outside technical aid, if any is desired, and other components.

An interesting experiment in job-training with funds supplied
by government and private industry is under way at Jestern Electiic

Co., in Kearny, N. J.:

The U, S. Departments of Commerce, Health and Labor contri-
buted $1 million and ten private companies contributed
$340,000 to Western Electric's pilot training project which
began operation in January, 1967. Each week 40 persons

from the disadvantaged community are enrolled for a rotating
9 week course in basic education and technical skills to
qualify for entry jcbs in the metal industries. Instructors
in basic education are supplied by the New Jersey State Dept.
of Education and technical training is imparted by experts
from the industry. Trainees receive $41 per week while train-
ing, plus $5 per dependent. To date (Oct., 1967) 361 persons
have completed the course and 216 have been hired by 70
companies in the Newark area, A spokesman for ‘Jestern
Glectric believes that the program will continue permanently,
with increasing participation by, private firms, He said,
"le're telling them 'come on in, the water's fine'",

lrunding arrangements might be worked out on a scale of 90% of the
above costs for the first year, with decreasing percentages in the
following years, moving on toward 0% at some later point, Such a
procedure is followed. by public service agencies and government
under the New Careers Program in the public sector,


Although the jJestern Electric project is limited to preparing
the trainees to qualify only for entry jobs, this experiment might
easily be expanded to include both higher skill training and educa-
tion to provide the industries of the area with a more specialized
source of manpower.

Even middle-size companies can benefit from facilitating
educational opportunities to employees, as has been demonstrated
by another program in the New Jersey area:
lellington Printing Industries of Trenton, N. J. has found
it practical and economical to establish an educational
incentive program which covers tuition and text-book costs
(and tutoring when necessary) for its employees who wish
to obtain elementary, high school and college education.

At present 10% of the 400 employees participate, and larger
enrollments are expected in the coming term. Total cost

to the company is considered "negligible". Business Manager
Nathan Mayer says: "Some of our men have been able fin only
two years to acquire a high school diploma and go on to
college. Some who started as helpers on a machine crew two
years ago now work as foremen, The program has supplied us
with permanent, capable workers, and we plan to expand it,"
He adds: "'e put the program into effect not from a desire
to perform good works, but as a practical solution to our
problem of not being able to find the skilled help we need,"
‘lellington Industries also decided to discard conventional
methods of hiring. Most applicants for entry positions are under-
educated and unskilled. Mr. Mayer says: "We decided to adopt the
policy of hiring on a first come, first served basis and to elimi-
nate the costly and often meaningless effort spent on interviewing
and testing. Although he may be a capable, willing worker, a job
applicant from the disadvantaged population may not know how to

make a good impression in an interview, and a poor previous work

record may indicate only that he had not had sufficient motivation


in the past to remain on a job, Our assumption is that a man who
is willing to work can be motivated to become a permanent employee
and to upgrade himself for positions that are increasingly valuable
to himself and to us."

Although the ‘Jellington employees now attend school on their
own time, the company's interest in helping them acquire an educa-
tion and the visible opportunities for promotion have motivated an
encouraging number of workers to take on the often difficult task
of attending classes. It is logical to suppose that with time on
the job available for education a much larger number of workers
would participate.

Other companies make education available to their employees
on company tima:

The DuPont Company recently completed its first experiment

in providing basic education to its under-educated employees,
Language skills were taught on company time to 46 veteran
employees who are now eligible to take skill-training courses
offered by DuPont, These courses are given to unskilled
employees after they have passed an initial period of fami-
liarization in the firm's labor pool, Instruction is on
company time, two full days weekly, Trainees study at their
own pace, with the help of a supervisor who answers specific
questions, After completing the training, the employces
work in the division for which they have prepared, Jorkers
can upgrade themselves to perform higher skills leading to
foreman positions by attending technical schools of their

own time, but with aid from the company on tuition,

The Polareid Corporation of Cambridge, Mass, offers courses

to its enployees ranging from basic English and conversational

Russiaa to polymer chemistry. (There is no academic credit

Giv«i: Tar these courses, )

It would scem feasiile in each instance to link the instruction
offered so that employees could obtain accredited education and higher

skilis to qualify them for positions requiring more education and



The programs developed by private enterprise in working with
the under=educated are not limited to heavy or manufacturing
industries, Service institutions, such as banks, have also found
it worthwhile to reach out to the disadvantaged for recruiting
workers and facilitating education to them on the job.

Chase Manhattan Bank established a job-training program

in 1964 for high school students from the hard-core poverty
areas. Many of the trainees are potential drop-outs and
have police records. Students entering the program at the
junior year of high school receive 21 months of basic educa-
tion and instruction in banking and finance, They attend
classes at the bank from 2 to 5 p.m, daily and are paid
$1.86 per hour, They continue to attend high school during
the morning. After graduation they are hired for entry
clerical positions. They may go on to college on their own
time, with aid from the bank via its tuition refund program.

Xerox Corporation's Project Step-Up was another valuable demon-
stration of the response of the poor to a program that links educa-
tion to employment,

Project Step-Up was created to explore the feasibility of
recruiting, hiring, training and giving remedial education
to persons from the underprivileged community. The program
was postulated on two basic assumptions:

1. It is good business, one that enhances the profit-
making apparatus.

20 The company could cut a clear path for itself to a
realistic solution for one of the nation's most complex
problems: How to open up skilled employment oppor=
tunities to the unemployed,

Many of the trainees had police records, bad credit ratings
and spotty employment histories,’ To qualify for training they
had to be unemployed or underemployed, receive substantially
less than a passing score on the company's regular employe
ment tests and not have finished high schcol,

The 19 week training period took place during the day=shift
working hours, 40% of the time was for classroom instruction,
and the rest for work and informal counseling to support the
new learning and adjustment to supervision and work rules,
Trainees were paid an hourly rate slightly below that for

ee Tse

regular new employees and were eligible for all company

benefits, All the trainees completed the program and

qualified for regular employment,

Foremen reported that trainees adjusted well and met

all standards, Xerox officials were impressed by the

trainees' commitment, their perseverance and their overall

reaction to the training, the work environment and to

other employees, The regular employees strongly supported

the program,

A Xerox spokesman said that the program was economical because
aside from the men who were trained, the company was able to hire
immediately four times as many applicants who did not need training.
Furthermore, he said, the company feels the program paid for itself
with the new knowledge gained as to methods of recruiting and moti-
vating disadvantaged employees. These techniques will now be
applied by Rochester Jobs, Inc., an organization of 70 firms in the
area which will act as a non-profit public service agency to hire,
counsel and train workers from the underprivileged community.

Many other firms in the U. S. have found that providing basic
education to their employees is a worthwhile investment and that
the cost is not high.

A basic literary program utilizing audio-visual techniques

developed by MIND (Methods of Intellectual Development,

subsidiary of Corn Preducts, Argo, Ill.) costs $240 per
person, if administered by the firm purchasing the service,

or $450 if administered by MIND. Academic escalations

of 4 grade levels e@an be achieved with under-educated adults

in 160 hours of MIND's basic education program.

The cost of educating a person for useful work which will cone

vert him from a recipient of relief nto a tax-payer may be sur-

prisingly lows


& literary program established by the Chicago Board of

lelfare demonstrated that teaching reading and arithmetic

skills to a person for five years costs less than his

relief check for a single month,

Providing educational and specialization opportunities to upper
echelon personnel has long been an established practice in private
enterprise and many different types of models exist from the out-
right granting of leaves of absence and fellowships for postgraduate
study to intensive short-term courses,

National Training Laboratories reports that since 1956

more than 3,000 top and middle executives have been sent

by their companies to NTL centers in Maine, Florida and

Arizona to acquire proficiency in working with the complex

human problems inherent in the management process.

The American Foundation for Management Research has heavy

advanced bookings for its Management Learning Center where

companies send teams of their top executives for intensive
training in problem solving via the team approach,

It would seem that with the tremendous demand for managers and
professional personnel forecast for the years ahead, it would be
to the best interest of private enterprise to expand its facilities
for upward education and mobility so that the potential of the now
lesser skilled can be tapped,

A report by Sibson & Co., New York management consultants,

predicts that by 1984 there will be openings for 2 million

top executives as compared to 500,000 now.

Jith careful thought, programs to careerize the industrial job
structure from the production level through the management level,
via a linking of education, skill training and promotional oppor-=

tunities, could well redound in enormous benefits to private business

and society.



The high cost of personnel turn over plagues private enter-
prise, Many firms have attempted to solve this problem by fraction-~
ing jobs, employing moonlighters or part time workers, all of which
solutionshave impermanence implicit in their very nature.

Part of the reason for the excessive turn over rate is the
lack of realistic advancement opportunities for the entry worker
who has no clear paths to the middle and higher level positions,
Careerizing the industry and providing career-oriented incentives
including training and education would introduce the necessary moti-
vation both prior to the job and on the job to fill these positions
and recruit the necessary employees,

Training programs not directly tied into job opportunities have
not been entirely successful, After trainees have been taught
skills, it has often been found that there were no jobs available
for those skills, In other words, training has not been realistic.

& comment on a government-sponsored training program, recently
issued by the AFL-CIO Executive Council illustrates this danger:

"The government's training program provides for training,

with payment of allowances up to two years. Unfortunately,

the present emphasis is often on training programs for jobs

which are dead end as well as low wage. Moreover, as long

as present training allowances remain as meager as they now

are, few workers, especially heads of families, can afford

to forego the opportunity for immediate employment even at

low wages == particularly if there is no assurance of a

job at the end of the training period, The government's

programs should be linked with job placement, when train-
ing is completed, . ."L

1 statement on the Urban Crisis, mimeographed, Washington, D.C.,;
Sept. 12, 1967. | |


It appears logical that private enterprise is especially well
suited to train and educate workers, since it knows exactly what
positions must be filled and what is needed to fill them, In the
words of the National Association of Manufacturers:

", . « we should realize that the goals of an effective

manpower policy should be to develop a more effective
American work force; to create jobs which utilize abilities,
and to match people and jobs efficiently. . . Industry has
not only the expertise to achieve superior results, but it
also has the vital interest in full utilization of human


ith the training undextaken by industry as part of a career-=
ized program, not only would trainees be more precisely matched
to available openings, but would also be immediately productive
and would know that as they improve their skills they can step
into more rewarding jobs.

As we have seen, many segments of a career incentive approach
already exist in the creative projects undertaken by private enter=
prise. An integrated New Careers Program for industry would pack-
age advantageously techniques for recruiting the workers and pro-=
viding motivation via skill training, Leunetven and clearly structured
upgrading opportunities to create new Lacrdes of manpower, reduce
labor turnover and combat unemployment.

There are a number of additional Laiea from a New Careers pro-
gram in the private sector: workers will be able to move up on
their own industries as well as acquire training enabling them to

move to other industries and to the public sector if they so desire,

1iNAM Reports, June 19, 1967.


The program will provide new taxpayers and consumers, thus increas-

ing aggregate demand; it will reduce welfare expenditures,

FR,LP: jet

public items show