Box 15, Folder 13, Document 68

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Box 15, Folder 13, Document 68

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When the communit.v welfare is in danger, and when opportunity
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knocks, it's traditional in Atlanta that businessmen give the
most important leadership. Our subject today is loaded with
danger and opportunity.
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This presentation was brought about by five organizations
serving our community -- ,mder the leadership of businessmen.
Businessmen giv_e intelligent direction toward worthwhile gcals,
and they use special abilities to shape effective programs.
Their dedication has inspired the support and participation of
other vital community elements.





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These organizations are ...
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.•. The City of Atlanta .••
••• The Atlanta Chamber of Commerce ..•
••• The Community Council of the Atlanta Area . • .
•.• The Greater Atlanta United Appe al. ..
•.• and Economic Opportunit_y Atlanta, Incorporated.
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As Atlanta grows, so grows the need for continued leadership
by businessmen. With Atlanta's growth, the very problems
these organizations exist to :meet will keep on growing.
We want to concentrate on just one of these problem8: JOBS . .
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These organizations are all concerned with jobs. Employment

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••• and unemployment ... are at the core of their p:rograms •
Atlanta's attractiveness as a place to live and do busi.ne s s
depends a great deal on the municipal services of the city•..
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schools, water supply, str eets , fire protection and p0lice
protection. Local tax funds support the city and fin~.nce these
services. Thus, the e}..i :ent and quality of munic~pal ser vices
depend on whether ther e i s profitable business activity, and
whether our citizens are productively employed •.
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The Chamber of Commer ce seeks a continually growing
busine s s community. It l ooks for growth in industry a.-id
jobs .. • which s timul ate trade: And it seeks growth in
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community facilities which, . in turn, help bring in more
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industry and more jobs.
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The Community Council is a social planning agency. It helps
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coordinate growth by collecting and analyzing facts, by
helping develop programs of community benefit, and by getting
sponsorship for needed programs.
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The United Appeal supports agencies with purpo8es related to
the social needs of our community ..• in health, rc(:reation,
family counseling, and care for children and the agt:J - Filling
these social needs is often the key to getting a job, or keeping
it. The Urban League and Goodwill Industries are ~ .' o United
Appeal agencies with functions directly related to jobs.
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Economic Opportunity Atlanta, Incorporated, br j_r1gs t c:;ether
all segments of the city in a concerted effort agai nst p0verty.
E-0-A coordinates and channels services to the ·poor, and
starts new services for needs which ar en 't being met.
E-0-A
tries to help people help themselves ••• to make them
c ont r ibuting members of s ociety••. and t o break the vicious
···cycle of poverty that becomes m ore serious with each
generation.
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There are many other agencies which offer services in the
field of employment and unemployment. The organizations
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we mentioned work closely with a number of them, sharing
information, facilities and ideas. You probably are fa.--niliar
with the programs of thes e other agencies, or :1erhaps have
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participated in one of the programs. To name just a fP.W of
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these agencies ..•
••• The State Employment Servic e of the Georgia Denartment
of Labor ... our vocational schools ... Family and Children's
Services ... the VocationE.l Rehabilitation Division of the State
Department of Education ... the m anpower and apprPriti ce
training programs of the U. S. Department of Lc1hor .
There are other organizations , mor e recently es tablished,
which concentrat e thei r efforts on a particular phase of
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Atlanta' s employment.
For example . . • the Atlanta Employers
Voluntary Merit Employment Association, which is a group of
businessmen with a mutual desire t o halt discrimination
practices in employment .
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Often ~ several of these organizations will pool their
resources in a cooperative effort. A recent example was
the Employer Workshop on Manpower Resources, held in
late November through the efforts of three organizations -the Chamber of Commerce, the Merit Employfoent Association,
and the Georgia Department of Labor. Its purpose wa:; to help


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employers evaluate all the available manpower :::-.:--~ources and
employability programs against their own job requh·aments.
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It is obvious, then, that these organizations recoi;n.i"?:e their
community responsibilities in employment. It is app3.rent,
too, from the programs and activities under v-:2.y, that
something is being done tc:r help get our unemployed people
on the job.
The need for continued business leadership is equally clear.
None of these organizations, individually or collectively,
claims to have all the answers to unemployment. And no one
yet has solved the problems that cause unemployment.
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We can't promise all the answers, either.
But our purpose,
during the next few minutes, is to luok at some of the facts •..
raise some questions .•. and provoke some thinking among
· this group that, perhaps, will lead us toward some of the
answers.
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Specifically, let's try to determine the extent of the problem
in Atlanta.
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Let's examine the problem as it directly affects
businessmen, and arldresses itself to the program s of our
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community org::rniz2tions.
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Begin by stating the problem in its simplest t enns :
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In our community, jobs are goinr; unfilled. At the same time,
people are unemployed.
This may seem a paradox•.. but we know it i s not a new
situation, nor is it peculiar to Atlanta. There've always been
people out of work. And, except during depressions, there've
always been jobs open for willing, qualified workers.
This is
true in every economy which provides employment for a great
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number of people ... even in a market as healthy as
Atlanta's today.
So we're looking beyond the normal and commonplace. We
want to talk about what we can do after the pool of qualified
workers runs out and some of the jobs are still unfilled. W/3
need to consider people who aren't working because of
limited education or none at all ... physical handicars . . . not
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enough skill or motivation ..• or combinations of' these thi;i.gs.
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It's elementary that unemployment can have a bad effect on
the economic health of the community. But bring it c1-}ser to
home by asking this question: What is my duty, as a citiz~n,
to try to cut down the high cost of public maintenance of our
people who aren't productively employed?
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Turn the question around: What is my opportunity, as a
businessman, to strengthen our markets and economy by
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helping convert a big tax drain into purchasing power and
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t axable income? Suppose we could somehow add 100 dollars
a month to the incomes of all the Atlanta families which now
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earn less than 4, 000 dollars a year? This would increase the
purchasing power among these pe_ople__Qy more than 95 million
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dollars a year.
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But perhaps the most important dimension to be examined is
this: Wnat effect will unemployment and underemployment
right now have on Atlanta's growth potential? In shcrt, ~hat
about tomorrow?
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Compared to other parts of the country, Atlanta ha~ :-e!:itively
little unemployment. We ofteZJ. brag about our low rate ••• which
is officially 2-point-5 per cent ,
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Part of the reason for this low rate is Atlanta's key position in
the Southeast .• • a region which has had a lion's share of the nation's
postwar economic growth. We can also thank pr ograms such as
Forward Atlanta, thr ough which Atlanta' s business leade r ship has
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been im aginative and aggres sive in getting the share we des erve ·
of the nation's growth.
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In a full economy, the qualified, willing job-seeker can find
work. By almost any standard, 1967 and several years
previous have been years of full economy in Atlanta. Retail
sales, effective buying income, and other economi0 indicators
have been moving steadily up. Certainly, we can't blame
unemployment on any lack of health in the Atlanta economy .
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We said our unemployment is comparatively small .•. by official
measurement. Yet, for a number of reasons, we cannot afford
to minimize it. For one, we know that there are rr.a11y others
who are less than fully employed but who aren't counted with the
2. 5 per cent. They don't fit the statistical definitic:: of unemployed.
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No one is certain how m:any people are in this category. And we
can only wonder how many children are growing up to .Jarry on
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traditions of poverty, ignorance, poor health, idleness, and willing
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' or unwilling dependence on public and private doles .
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Our population has grown. In 1967, the 2. 5 per cent represents
thousands more people ·than iCdid ten years ago.
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More people live in cities today. They are easier to count,
put in categories, and observe. In a rural environment,
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there are more ways to subsist without formal emplo~rment.
We are familiar with some o~ the c auses of unemployment,
and some of them stem, in part, from the very affluence we
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have described. Minimum qualifications for some jobs are
rising faster than the aven.ge educational attainment.
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are problems of health, housing and even transportat!on, and
there are deserted mothe.rs ti ed to the care of deserted
children.
No one can say positively how much effect ar..y ~n e of these
things is having on unemployment.
If we could'be sure,
effective solutions might be easier to develop.
But these things are certain:
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Thousands of people in Atlanta don't earn enough to support
th~mselves and their families. They are PEOPLE NEEDING
JOBS •.• the 2. 5 per cent, others who aren't being counted
officially, and some others who have jobs but are underemployed or underpaid.
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Employers in Atlanta's dynamic economy cannot always find
all the skilled people they need to help run their businesses.
This is the other category... JOBS NEEDING PEOPLE.
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And .• ~ Unemployment is waste ..• a waste of productive effort ...
a waste in terms of unrealized consumption of goods and
services. It's a drag on growth, and, under some condition.::; ..•
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••• Unemployment can stop growth in its tracks. That is a
blunt statement which deserves to be documented.
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Some alarming facts with a great deal of bearing on our
subject were developed by the city's Community Improvement
Program ... the C-I-P. Part of the C-I-P study dealt with
the number of jobs in certain categories, and projections of
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whn.t the situation will be in 1983, if present trends continue.
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For example, in 1983, there will be 515,000 jobs in the
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City' of Atlanta.
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Nearly four out of ten of these nev-i jobs in the city will be
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That's 48 per cent more than in 19G5,
in our Central Busi.ncss District. This means 64, 000 more
people will be employed in our Central City .•• the downtown
~rea.
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Most of these new jobs will be in five main categories:
GOVERNMENT, FINANCE, INSURANCE, AND REAL ESTATE,
with about 10,000 jobs in each group, and RETAILING, with
about 5 , 000 jobs.
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None of these new jobs will be in manufacturing, wholesale
trade or distribution. The Central City won't gain in this
kind of employment.
Jobs in GOVERNMENT, FINANCE, INSURAi~CE, REAL
ESTATE, AND RETAILING; •• WHITE COLLAR JOBS.
Now consider another sE:t of facts from the C-I-P 5tudy•••
facts about population,
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By 1983, the Negro population of the City of Atl~ta will
increase by 62 per cent .•. the white populatio<" by 4 per cent.
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Forty-five per cent of the Negro population wi11 be in the
age group of 20 to 54. MORE THAN HALF will be under 20
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or over 54.
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From another phase of the C-I-P study comes this projection:
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In 1983, about 32,000 Negro families living in the city will
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have family income of LESS THAN THREE THOUSAND
DOLLARS. About 45,000 Atlanta Negro families will
have incomes of less than $5,000 a year.
Put some of these facts together to see what they imply:
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FIRST •.• job growth will be in white collar oc:-·, .pations .


SECOND ••• our population ""'ill be made up of the pec,ple
who, by current standards, are LEAST qualified for white
collar jobs.
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THIB.D••• downtown retailing will be supported by a
preponderance of families with poverty-level incomes . . •
families with very little to spend in retail stores.
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And FINALLY ••• Atlanta's growth potential will be impossible
to realize unless established trends are changed.
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Th0se facts make it easier to understand the disturbing
statement of a few minutes ago ... that UNEMPLOYMENT
CAN STOP GROWTH IN ITS TRACKS.
,Therein lies our challenge ... the challenge to Lezin now
_c hanging some of these conditions which, in turn, will
help reverse or slow some of the undersirabie, trends.
As we begin to realize the size of the problem, ot~er
questions demand answers. \Vho are the PEOP::::...E involved?
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Do we need -- or can we get -- an accurate p!"ofiie: of our
unemployed population?
There is some data available to help us find a s tarting point.
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One example of s uch data.. is a study bas ed on interviews
with 47,000 people, between 16 and 75 years old , living
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in poverty neighborhoods. These interviews were
conducted about 18 months ago through 12 neighborhood
centers of the E-0-A. Here's what the study found out
about these 47,000 people:
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••. 77 per cent earned less than $3,000 a year.
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.•• 52 per cent of all households were headeL --:;y women.
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..• 57 per cent of the adults did not graduate from !ugh s chool.
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• .• 5 per cent had a fourth grade education or lc :::; s.
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.• ·• 7 per cent had no form al education at all.
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••. 12 per cent needed m edical aid to r emove a wo!'l( handicap.
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• •. 11 per cent claimed no job skill, or orJy farm wor k as
., .•• 82 per cent were Negroes.
exper ience.
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•.• 2 per cent were 65 or older •
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Of all those s eeking work, 65 per c ent were Negro women.
About two out of three said they would like to have more
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vocational training in hopes of improving their lot.
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A composite would be difficult to draw. But look at two
case histories:
A typical case ••. A woman, 33, divorced, mother of four
children. She has a seventh grade education. Works 2.s a
maid and makes 28 dollars a weak.
Pays 12 dol14rG of that
for a three-room apartment. Her children are left alone
while she works because day care would cost two-thL.ds of
her weekly salary.
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Another case, less typicr.l but just as real. •• A young man,
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Completed the fifth grade iil a rural school. He is
married to a young woman who completed the third grade.
They are expecting a child soon. They live with his sister
and her five children ••• eight persons in four roo:ms.
He
has worked as a delivery boy and busboy, averaging a uollar
an hour. He has serious p r oblem s with a loan company .
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These two have jobs, of sorts, for the time being. But
thei:,: future is uncertain and prospects are poor that they
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ever hold jobs at a level much higher.
The;y lack the skill and educational attainment to fill some
of the vacancies which we know exist. For instance, the
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State Employment Service reports a large unfilled demand
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for several job skills •..
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••• Comptometer operators, stenographers, secretaries,
typists, telephone operators, file clerks, cashiers, key
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p:!.nch operators, draftsmen ... not the sort of jobs to be
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filled by a fifth-grade drop-out, or by an untrained domestic.
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There are other types of jobs requiring l ess skill, which
still have a demand greater than the supply of people to hold
them: Food service and preparation, hotels and motels,
. building maintenance, and repair and installation work.

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Meanwhile, look what's happening ir. another job
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category:
Common labor. From 1950 to 1960, the
number of employed laborers in Atlanta went down by
almost 13 per cent, or 2, 600 jobs. The pace of automati on
continues to h ave its effect in c0natrudi0n and other industrie s
using laborers.
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By contrast, in the sd.Ille IO-year-period, clerical workers
increas ed by 22, 000, or 43. 5 per cent.
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Professional and technical workers went up by 18,000 jobs,
or 70 per cent •
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Machine operators -- up by 2 , 000 , or 30 per cent.
So the r ecord is one of steady upgrading. It is a r ecor d of
pr ogress , and industry c an be proud of it .
While employers
are t raining and pr om oting workers for m ore demanding,
higher paying j obs, vacancies are being created for new
employees.
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,!obs .9.2 exist, and they need to be filled. Some manufacturing
jobs, for instance, haven() minimum requirements for
education or experience, and the employer bears the expense
of training.
This not only emphasizes the need for workers, but it is
also further evidence of the employer's willingness to
help meet the problem ... especially when programs
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such as on-the-job trair1ir.g can help an employer match
people with the jobs he needs to fill. Without such efforts,
the gap would be even greater than it is today, and it would
be widening even faster .
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Let's examine our job m arket for other barriers which can
s eparate
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given individual from a given job.
Som e of the se bar r ier s will always be ther e . They a re the
requirements which r epresent the initial effort by the employer
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to screen applicants . •• to make ·his i:ecruiting and interviewing
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more efficient. The employer has needs for competence
and reliability, skill and stability. For all his generosity,
compassion, civic-mindedness or whatever, the employer
cannot ignore these needs •.. if he is to stay in business.
There are other barriers, leas prevalent today, which are
merely extensions of attitudes.
You're familiar with the kind of barriers we mean. You've
seen them in help wanted ads, in job orders placed with
employment services, and in the personnel policies of many
business organ:!.::: ativns.
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..• Must be 21 or over •• ,
••• Experienced only ..•
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.•. White only •••
• • • Colored •••
• • • Must be high school graduate ..•
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••. Men only.. .
• • • Not over 50 .. .
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••• Must be free to travel. .•
• • • Military duty completed .••
• • • Car necessary•.. And so on,
As we suggested earlier, certain jobs will always have
requirements that not everyone can meet, particularly
jobs which demand a high degree of skill, aptitude , ,)r
training. These requirements are realistic standards .•.
not arbitrary barriers in the sens~ of others w~ wentioned.
We can find tangible evidence of employers taking the lead
in removing some of the arbitrary ones.
Many jobs today
are being literally thrown open by the use of other words
and phrases which are becoming more and more familiar:
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For example .•• Men or women.
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Equal Opportunity Employer.
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No experience necessc!ry.
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Disabled person welcome •
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Prefer retired man .••
Will train ... And many others.
Keep in mind that tha employer also has barr iers ... legal
barriers which discou:;.:age or prevent the hiring of some
people for certain joi>s. Women have been given full
equality in employment ... as long as they don't have to
lift over 30 poum:s. P11ysical canditi 0ns make some
persons
a bad
r:!.sk .. • because the e:mpl.:;yer can't afford to
assume the Worlanen's Compensation liability which the law
says he must.
You can see that progress is being made in meeting Atlanta's
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problem •••this paradox of shortage on one hand, and surplus
on ~e other ••• the puzzle of people and jobs, which don't always
match.
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The gains haven't been spectacular. We can't promise
that the solutions are just around the corner. But it's
to the credit of our business leadership that we can cite
these signs of progress .•• evidence that the job is at
least begun.
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Only through the continued leadership of our busine~srr.en.:.
their ideas, talents, and energies ... channeled through
these community organizations and others ..• can we hope to
find those solutions.
(-PAUS
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We began a few minutes ago on the premise that many
people are not working at a time when our economy needs
workers. We've seen who these people are, and in gE:ni:>.ral
terms, what separates them from self-sufficiency and usefulness.
We've presented some facts we all must recognize if this
problem is to be met intelligently and with purpose.
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Ann we have tried to be realistic about our alternatives:
That,unless something iE; done, it is possible that there
will be no b2sic change in this situation within our generation.
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If we C:?JU1ot absorb today's parents into the productive side
of the economy, what of their children? Can the high school
drop-out of 1967 ex--pect a better future than the almost hop.eles.s
situation he faces today? Can Atlanta afford to leave him
hopeless?
(END OF SLIDE NARRATION)
IJGHT2 ON ••• MODERATOR TAKES OVER FOR CONCLUSION.

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