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ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ATLANTA, INC.
101 MARIETTA STREET BLDG,
ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30303
c. Oo. EMMERICH
December 30, 1966
Honorable Ivan Allen, Jr.
Mayor of the City of Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Dear Mayor Allen:
As we reach the close of 1966, I would like to take this
means of expressing my appreciation for the leadership
you are giving to Atlanta and for the help and encourage-
ment you have extended to EOA in its effort to fight
poverty. I sometimes feel that you have a thankless and
lonely job, but when you measure the effect in making
Atlanta a great city, I am sure that you are pleased.
Please permit me to point out a real problem which might
be better solved without fund allocations.
We have noticed many ads in our local papers seeking
employees and at the same time, the city does have a
small degree of unemployment and perhaps a large degree
of under employment. Much is being done to correct this
problem and for this we are all grateful. However, I
would like to encourage you to call on your staff and
department heads to help offer part of the solution to
the real problem. I believe it could be done by present-
ing four suggestions for their review and action.
Satisfactory employment is considered by many as the best
tool in fighting poverty. "The United States must learn to
make better use of (1) unskilled workers, (2) older persons,
(3) women, and (4) the mentally retarded, if economic growth
is to continue;" says Commerce Secretary John T. Connor.
Mayor Allen -2- December 30,
If the City Administration (the department heads and
personnel officer) could keep in mind the employment
facet of our local problem, much might be accomplished.
As an example, you might wish to suggest four avenues or
approaches which the department heads could consider:
Number 1. A greater use of Negro employees in all
levels of each of the cities services. Statistics
show that Atlanta cannot erase its poverty until
the manpower pool of Negro men and women can share
equal employment opportunities in both private and
Federal agencies. I am aware much has already been
done by some of the departments; however, this is
not enough, if we are going to erase poverty in our
According to the 1966 Human Resources Survey
in Atlanta's low income areas, 83% of the
available labor force are Negroes; 65% of the
. labor force are Negro Women.
Number 2. The lowering of job qualifications in at
least six percent of the jobs in most of the city
departments would allow many presently unqualified
individuals to enter the city services. In order
to insure success, department heads would most likely
find it necessary to provide on-the-job training or
some form of in-service training for this group of
employees. Continued success would demand that these
jobs not be dead end jobs.
1. Based on the recent Human Resources Survey
25% of Negro males and 26% of Negro females
have less than a Grammar School Education.
2. 64% or 2/3 of the Negroes surveyed had not
completed High School.
Number 3. A great use of nonprofessionals as assis-
tants to professionals in all areas of the city ser-
vice would certainly help us to place many deserving
Atlantans in our city employment. While this is not
a new concept, since it has been tried by both private
Mayor Allen -3- December 30, 1966
and by city departments, it has not yet been
accepted to the point which we can expect the desired
results. EOA has employed over 300 such workers, and
we are happy to report that our results have been most
gratifying, and we think most successful.
l. 83% of Negro females who reported earnings
in the Human Resources Survey earned less
2. 56% of Negro men who reported earnings
earned less than $3,000.00.
Number 4. A greater employment of women, especially
Negro women, would be most helpful to Atlanta's War
on Poverty. Without this effort, Atlanta's program
will be unsuccessful.
1. 2/3 of all applicants visiting the Neighbor-
hood Centers for employment assistance were
2. Of those surveyed in the Atlanta Human
Resources Survey, women made up 89% of the
available labor market. Negro women made up
65% of this available work force.
Frankly, I cannot tell you how to get these four things done,
but I feel certain if top administration of the city will
support these four suggestions, they will be agreeably sur-
prised how middle management will be able to augment these
ideas and make them work.
The reason EOA would like to see these ideas put into practice
is because it does not add to our cost of fighting poverty,
but it offers a real solution to many of our disadvantaged.
If EOA can be of help in referring individuals to the employ-
ment office, we will be glad to assist.
Cc. O. Emmerich