Box 7, Folder 12, Document 14

Dublin Core

Title

Box 7, Folder 12, Document 14

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

-1
THE NEED FOR PUBLIC SERVICE EMPLOYMENT
The Urban Coalition Action Council
At the time of the original convocation that created the
nat"ional Urban Coalition in 19_6 7, the Steering Committee of that
convocation stated its position ;n public service employment.
That statement called for immediate legislative action based in
part on the following principles:
\
1)
"The .Federal government must enlist the cooperation of
government at all levels and of private_ industry to
assure that meaningful productive work is available to
everyone willing and able to work."
2)
"To create socially useful jobs, the ..• program should
concentrate on the huge backlog of employment needs _in
parks, streets, slums, countryside, schools, colleges,
libraries . and hospitals ..• _"
3)
"The program must provide meaningful jobs--not dead
end, make work projects ... "
·
4)
"Basi c education , training and counseling must be an
integral part o f the program ... Funds f or tra ining
education and counseling should be made available to
private industry as well as to public and private
nonprofit agencies."
5)
"Such a program should seek to qualify new employees
to become part of the regular work force and to meet
normal performance standards~-"
_. 6)
"The operation of the program should be keyed to
specific locali ze d unemployment problems and focused_
initially on those areas where the n eed is most
apparent."
.
··,:;
'-.
On April 1, 1968, in testimony before the .Subcommittee on .
Employment, Manpower and Poverty of the Senate Committee on Labor
and Public Welfare, John W. Gardner, chai~man of the n a tional
Urban Coalition Action Council, reaf~ irme d the convoc ati on's
statement.
Mr. Gardner's testimony also made public for the
,.
=---=--- : ---.,:___:_-
__!~
..
�Public Service Employment
Page 2
first · ti~e the preliminary conclusion.s of a study by Dr. Harold
Sheppard of the Upjohn Institute.l Dr. Sheppard was commissioned
by the Urban Coalition to surv_ey the public service needs of a
sample of major cities and to e~amine the general problems of
underemployment and unemployment in'this country in terms of
those -needs.
Sheppard's study, released in final f6rm in January _of
this year, dispell~d ~ome myths which have greatly influenced
past thinking on unemployment and underemployment; about the poor
who do not work and the much larger group of poor who do.
For
example, 85 to 90 per cent of the poor who do not work are ill,
disabled, in school, or in the case of many women, they are
unable to enter the labor market at all because of home respon-
..
sibilities.
· Sheppard's analysis emphasized the critical facts about ·
the underemployed, who he defines as those who work and are still
poor.
In any analysis of what constitutes .the poor in this
country, underemployment looms as large--tf· not larger--than
.. ;,~
unemployment.
Sheppard found that, conservatively, ~lmost five
million people in this country were underemp loyed.
This is a

significant figure since it includes by definition people who
"·r.
'
work and are still poor, and does not include unemployed as defined
by the Federal government .
. 1 Harold L. Sh e pp ard, The J:Jature o f the Job ·P roble m and t h e Role
of .New Public Service Emp l oyment, the Upjohn Institute, January
1969
,.
....
,._
..-·
~,
.,,
.-
�· Public Service Employment
Page 3
Sheppard advanced an even more startling theory, based on
.Bureau of' the Census stat~stics, on the number of poor families
in the labor force and the per cent having two or more wage earners.
Using this method, Sheppard concluded that in 1966 at least six
million members of families worked on some basis and were poor .
.,
In addition, there were 1.3 million unrelated individuals in the
labor force at the same time.
Therefore, there are perhaps as
many as 7.3 million men and women who are labor · force participants
and yet are poor.
~He concludes that most of them are employed but
still do not earn enough to raise their,families or themselves
out of poverty.
Equally significant weight must be given
to the quality
of the unemployed in terms of age, location, duration, etc.
The quality can have serious consequences for the cities.
At
the time of the Sheppard study, the Office of Economic Opportunity
estimated that the central cities contained nearly 1.3 million
job seekers or underemployed poor persons of whom 33 % were in the
16-21 age group (1966 figures).
•1968 figuies for Detroit show
that the unemployment rate for the city as -. a whole was 3. 8%, but
for 16~1~ year olds it was 13.6%.
Unemployment in the central
city, both white and nonwhite, was 11 . 2%.

In round numbers there
were almost 22,000 unemployed in Detroit
between . the ages of 16 - 19.
··r.
In the central city there were 34,000 people of all ages unemployed. 2
In Los Angeles, 35,000 were between 16 and 19 and the total
for-the central 'city was 71,000.
One must conclude that the bulk
2 The data for Detroit and Los Angeles are from the Supplement to
the President's 1969 Manpower Report and are averages for the
calendar year 1968. Data is a lso available for 18 other cities.
,.
.,.
~,
.-
�Public Service Employment
Page 4
of the unemployed are in the central city; and if Sheppard's
· conservative figures on underemployment are ---- considered, there is
today a strong concentration of unemployed and underemployed in
the central city, and many are in the 16-19 age group.
_these fi~ures will startle anyone.
.,
None of
Yet, measured against achieve-
ment much remains to be done.
Sheppards analysis of the "needs" of the cities was done
by a survey of 130 ci~ies with populations of 100,000 or mor~.
'
Althorigh not done in depth, the general conclusions of th~ survey
established the fact that in these cities there were at least
280,000 potential positions which were needed but not filled and
not bu~geted.
Even more significant was the fact that the city
representatives estimated that there were at least 140,000 of
these jobs that did not require technical or professional training
and could be filled by inner-city residents.
Contrary to popular
belief that these jobs by.definition were make work, 30 per cent
were in education of which over 27% were nonprofessional, 12.4 %
were in health and·hospitals of which 13.3 % were nonprof essional,
and 25 % we re in police , fire and sanitatiop o f which over 23 %
could be filled by nonprofessionals.
Most people would consider
these categories of ·w ork to b e essential _ to the efficient and
productive operation o f a city.
.
\
It is the conviction of the Urban Coalition Action Council
that the present .require ments of the citi es and the unfulfille d
promises of jobs can be match e d .
Su ch a p rogram will h a v e a
positive impact on the problems of unemployment and underemployment.
\
,,
_, ..-.
(
1.
,.y
�Page 5
Publ~c Service Employment

But it cannot be done without some Federal support for city
budgets, state budgets, budgets of nonprofit institutions such
as hospitals, all of which are shrinking under th~ pressure of
rising co·sts.
Yet the demand ·for service to the community remains
·and grows.
.,
The private sector is playing a critical role in the employment of the disadvantaged.
The JOBS Program3 has had a substantial
impact in the communities where it has been operating _for more
~-
than a year.
Despite excellent organizational and promotional
efforts ·and ihe dedication of thousands of individual businessmen,
the privai~ sector has not been able to attack the total problem.
No one can expect the private sector alone to do the job.
In
fact, the private sector should not be asked to do the whole ' job.
Not only can they not be expected to do it, they cannot do it.
In June 1969 the Secretary of Labor announced that 2,370
employers agreed to hire and train 71,796 disadvantaged workers
with Federal assistance.
614,_000 by June 1971.
The goal is 238,000 by June 1970 and
This enormous effort must be continued,
•,
but even if we recognize that a much larger group has been employed
through the normal channels of companies, Los Angeles alone needs
more than 71,000 job opportunities for the centra1· ·city right now.
Although several bills relating -,to public service employment were introduced in the 90th Congress, Congress has failed
to act in this important area .
and· manpower
11
Independent pieces of legislation
fall out" from other legislation c6nsidered to be
3 Job Opportunities in the Business. Sector, conducted by the
National All~ance of Busi nessmen
···\
,,.
. ,.p J
...
'. )
-~
It
, .-
�Public Service Employment
Page 6
i I
public s·ervice employment-oriented are on the books·.
and the Work Incentive Program (WIN) are example s~
New Careers
Quite apart
from whether the proliferation of programs, both private and .
public sector oriented, requires a more comprehensive approach
·and a more efficient delive ry systei;n, pre sent programs apparently
are not reaching significant numbers o f the unemployed and underemployed.
The present Administrati on is min dful of th i s.
The Dep art-
me nt o f Labor r e c e nt l y c irculate d f or comme nt t o int~ re sted parti es
a detailed program draft to be called Pub lic Se rvice Careers Program.
The progr am is sche dul e d to be announced in early August, and one
c a n a ss ume th at t he r ecent draft repr esents the Admi n istration's
current thinking on this subject.
The draft paper ·b a sica lly a g r e es with Dr . Shepp a r d 's s tat e ment o f the p rog ram.
1)
Th e Administrat i o n ' s a n a l ysis e mp h asizes t hat:
Th ere i s an increasing need for trai ned man power i n
the publ ic s e ctor at all l e v el s of governme nt
2)
Underemp l oyment is a key problem
3)
A public service pro gram should· not be an ' employer
',
of: t h e las t r es o rt program' nor me r e l y ano t h er trai ning
program
4)
The Administration propo ses ·-~to break down a wide
range o f b arriers t o emp l o yment o f t he disadvantaged
~nd imple ment upgrading of current employees
5)
Federal funds will b e made a vail able f o r s u pportive
seryices, i.e. training and remediation, transpo rtation
and .day care facilities, job res tructuring, sensitivity
\
,,.. ... ..:-1·
···\-
II
•.,F.,J
,.
.,,.,.,.
�Public Service Emp l oyment
training for supervisors.
Page 7
Fifty million dollars in
Title I-B Economic Opportunity Act monies will be
requested.
The Secretary of Labor has stated that the Federal government inves t ment per trainee in the JOBS p r ogr am is $2,915 .
Using
three thousand dollars per person and nqt taking into account any
additional investment that may have been made by t~e private
sector for each JOBS trai n e e , t h e p rop o sed Pub lic Se rvice Ca r eers
Pr ogram would g e n erat e ab out 1 6 ,000 jobs f or t h e e n t ire n ati o n.
The justification that . the Labor' Department uses for its
limi ted efforts in the public s e cto r is the as s umed need f o r
e xperime ntation (For e x a mp l e, will the h ire-first t rain- lat er
.
.
principle wo rk in the public s e ctor ), a nd to d e termine whe t her
or no t such p r o g r ams c a n s uc cee d withou t s ome fo rm of Fed eral
wage s ub sidy .
Re pre sen t ati v e s o f ma j o r c i ti e s h ave a lready
indicated to De p a rtme nt r ~pre s ent a tive s t h a t Federal wage subs idies
in s ome fo rm are necess a ry; th a t t h ey f a c e continuing d eteriorat ion
o f esse n tial a s we il as d e s i rabl~ s ervices; t h at bud geta ry p re ss u r e s .

are such th a t th e r e cru iting , tra i ning, a nd s u pp l ying o f s up p ortive
services-is meaningle ss . if t he jobs c annot b e s u sta i ne d i n the

c ity s yste m o r the ho s pital , no matte r how badly n e~d e d . 4
The Administration ' s an a ly s i s o f ,. une mp loy me n t a n d undere mployme nt proble ms and the i mpe r a tiv e and g r owi ng need f o r a
publ ic service manpower p r o g r am s u ppo r t s the a n a l ysis o f t h e
4This e x plains t h e reaction o f s ome c i ty representatives who,
a l though cri t ical o f t h e WI N pro gram, regard a t l eas t as
realistic i n this one ·respect f o r i t does provi d e f o r some
fo r m of wage ·s ubsidy for two years .
\
.,,
,.
~
.,
�-Public Service Employment
I
P~ge 8
I
Urban Coalition.
But the conclusions fro~ the analyses differ.
The Urban Coalition Action Council can'not support the Administration's
present approach in this area, and so informed Assistant Secretary
of Labor Arnold Weber by letter on July 25, 1969.
(See attachment)
The Urban Coalition Actiorr Council is pu~suing a vigorous
_program of support for meaningful public service employment legislation in this session of Congress.
The Action Council is
coordinating and cooperating with its supporting segments to prepare now for Senate and House hearings.
The timetable in the
House calls for hearings sometime in early October.
first order of business.
This is the
Particularly because of the Administra-
tion's approach at the prese nt time, we must undertake to prove
the case for a more rapid and larger eff9rt . in the public employ~
ment field.
We hope th.at all· the varied e lements in the Urban
Coalition Action Council constituency and all others who h ave a
concern about the commitment of this nation to of fer job opportunities
to those willi~g and able to work will assist us in· this effort. ·
In order to prepare caref~lly for the anticipated h earings ,
we would welcome any comme nts or r eactions .that you migh t have
to ·this proposed effort.
We are particularly interested in
cri"tical reactions to the concept of public service emp loyment
as we ll as comme nts on present or propC?sed a lternat i v e methods in
,.
either the public o r private sector for dealing with the problems
of u nderemp loyme nt and unemp loyme nt in 1969.
July 30, 1969 (bs) ,r
,.
•-' I'

Social Bookmarking

Comments

Transcribe This Item

  1. http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_007_012_014.pdf

Document Viewer