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Because we have made progress-and because the official unemployment rate is lower than it has been since the early 1950's—some persons shrink from any further meaningful effort to deal with those problems. Instead, they repeat that meaningless bit of conventional wisdom which says that "anybody who really wants a job can find one." It is meaningless because, to whatever extent there are jobs available, they are in highly-skilled or professional occupations, which require several years of training; or they are very low-wage and dead-end; or they involve travel distances which create time and cost barriers. In short, whatever jobs do exist do not provide much of an answer to the problem at hand.
Moreover, it appears to us that all of the talk about the availability of jobs is contradicted by the evidence. The record of this Subcommittee's previous hearings in connection with the War on Poverty is replete with statements about the need for more jobs, and these statements come from those closest to the scene-local officeholders, program administrators and the jobless. Furthermore--and this is to us highly significant-not a single one of the Economie Opportunity Act work programs, that we know of, has had any difficulty in filling job slots for which it has been funded. These jobs, I would emphasize, are by and large in the public service field. Such jobs can be meaningful, more conveniently located and, in most instances, provide wages that will carry the jobholder above the poverty line.
Because jobs are needed, and because jobs in public service employment can meet the need, the AFL-CIO believes strongly that such a program should be enacted by this Congress. We are not alone in this call for action. Our allies include the Commission on Technology, Automation, and Economic Progress; the Urban Coalition; the 1966 White House Conference on Civil Rights; the President's National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty; and the President's Commission on Civil Disorders, among others.
In your speech to the Senate when you introduced S. 3063, Mr. Chairman, you included estimates from the Report of the Commission on Automation on the number of jobs which could be created to meet existing public service needs of our society. The total was 5.3 million.
Thus, the work is there to be done. The Commission on Automation pointed to the anomoly of excessive unemployment in a society confronted with a huge backlog of public service needs in its parks, its streets, its slums, its countryside, its schools and colleges, its libraries, its hospitals, its rest homes, its public buildings, and throughout the public and nonprofit sectors of the economy." The Commission also stated that "employing the unemployed is, in an important sense, almost costless,” and that to provide the unemployed with meaningful public service jobs "increases not only their income but that of society."
Jobs, however, are only a part of the problem. A second part involves influencing the employment mix—that is, helping to put into jobs, both in the public sector and the private sector, workers who have been passed over and shunted aside, sometimes for what might be regarded as legitimate reasons and sometimes for reasons not so legitimate.
I think, Mr. Chairman, our views on this two-part problem can best be summed up by quoting from an address delivered by AFL-CIO President George Meany before the National Alliance of Businessmen which met on March 16 to talk about the JOBS program. As you are aware, the AFL-CIO is cooperating with the effort being made by the NAB. In his remarks to that group, President Meany pointed out that gradually the country has come to the realization that, despite the steady economic advance that had been made since 1961, "significant numbers of Americans were being left behind.” He then went on to say:
"And when this phenomenon was examined more closely, it was found that more job opportunities—while still essential-would not be enough. They would not be enough because so many of those who were being left behind, the hard core of the jobless, were simply not equipped for gainful employment.
"They were not equipped in terms of education. They were not equipped in terms of work experience the simple disciplines involved in any form of employment—since they had never been regularly employed. And most important, perhaps, they were not equipped in terms of motivation.
"So it is not enough, it will not be enough, to go into the ghettos and say, 'Here is a Job.' The deprived Americans who make up the hard core of the unemployed need to be taught and need to be trained before they can fill a job. And even before that, they must be motivated by the desire to fill one.
"What they need, first of all, is confidence; or perhaps a better word is faith. They need to believe that the newly-offered opportunity is real; that they can in
fact become a part of the American society which until now has been as remote from them as the moon.
"We in the labor movement have run into this problem time after time. As you may know, many of our unions, especially in the apprenticed trades, have gone to great lengths to facilitate entry to their trades on the part of youngsters from minority groups. They have established and cooperated with 'out-reach' programs which provide special training and preparation to enable persons from underprivileged backgrounds to qualify for employment.
"Yet they have often had to search for takers. The reason may lie in lack of confidence, lack of faith, and therefore lack of motivation. Those who have known nothing but deprivation, denial and discrimination, who have been rejected so often by society in the past are skeptical of new offers of opportunity.”
We in the AFL-CIO are pleased to see that others now recognize that we are dealing with a many-faceted problem from the earliest days of the Manpower Development and Training Act, the AFL-CIO has persistently argued for a vastly increased effort to provide the necessary remedial and supportive services in all of our manpower programs. S. 3063 proposes to deal effectively with both parts of the problem. This bill spells out the need to provide more jobs through a program of public service employment as well as the importance of providing the strong program of remedial and supportive services required to aid disadvantaged workers find their way into existing public and private sector jobs. We support this legislation enthusiastically. We would, however, propose some modifications.
One aspect of S. 3063 which we would like to see modified involves the role assigned to public service employment. The bill suggests that the public employment program will serve as a temporary stopover on the road to employment in the private sector, and that the proposed public service jobs would represent something other than "regular competitive employment." This latter distinction is not made with respect to the jobs covered by the bill's provisions concerning the private sector. Apparently, it is presumed that the workers who are placed in jobs in the private sector under the program of S. 3063—even though they will be receiving a variety of remedial and supportive services—will be the only ones regarded as regular employees. We think that those who are placed in jobs in public service employment should be regarded in the same manner.
In view of the gap that now exists in the nation's ever-growing need for public services, and in view of the opportunities for permanent employment in which this sector affords, we believe that it is very important-both in terms of the need to provide services and the need to provide meaningful jobs--that the major thrust of 8. 3063 should be in the direction of creating not only job slots, but regular employment as well.
There is no reason why public service employment should be viewed as less desirable than private sector employment, and there is no reason why jobs in public service employment need be dead-end, as some critics assert. There can be-in fact, there is--about as much opportunity to move up the career or skill ladder in public employment as in private employment. Moreover, the additional services provided in S, 3063 will encourage and help bring about this mobility of workers in public service employment.
We believe that the present language of S. 3063 contains a serious--though unintentional-law. The present language seems to create a body of workers in public service jobs who will never be integrated into the regular workforce. This can, however, be avoided with the right kind of program design and the proper utilization of the tools which this legislation makes available.
The purpose of the counseling efforts and the supportive services provided for in the bill, whether in connection with the public employment program or the program involving the private sector, ought to be improvement in the employability of the workers-to make them more mobile occupationally. Workers should be equipped to move up the ladder where they are employed or to seek better jobs elsewhere, either in the public or private sectors. For this reason, we see the need to eliminate any suggestion that the proposed jobs in public service employment be distinguished from jobs in the private sector by characterizing the latter as "regular competitive employment."
Accordingly, we would suggest changing the language of the second sentence in Sec. 2(a) (1) in Findings and Declaration of Purpose to read as follows:
"Many such areas contain large concentrations or proportions of persons who are unable to obtain satisfactory jobs because of ..."
The necessary modifications to bring the rest of the bill into accord with this concept should be made in Sec. 101(a) (3) and Sec. 102(5) of Title I, and wherever else appropriate.
So far as the aforementioned Sec. 102(5) is concerned, we would propose the following language:
"5. the education, training, and supportive services which complement the work performed and which will make the participants more mobile occupationally and improve their ability to compete in the job market in the future;"
A second aspect of S. 3063 which we believe requires modification aeals with the lack of reference, in several sections, to the "underemployed." There is no reason why underemployed persons should not be given a chance for improved job opportunities which may be developed in either the public or private sectors as a result of the enactment of S. 3063.
These programs can--and should-help the employed poor. In many, many, instances the barriers that stand between the underemployed and the chance to move up the ladder can be eliminated by the kinds of remedial and supportive services which S. 3063 would make available.
While this omission may simply be an oversight, we think it is sufficiently critical to call it to the attention of the Subcommittee. In Sec. 101 (a) (1) of Title I, for example, it appears to us quite logical, and in fact desirable, to incorporate the underemployed as a target group. We would urge, therefore, that on this issue the language of the bill be made unmistakably clear-in this section as well as wherever else it might be applicable--because we simply should not ig. nore the plight of the employed poor. They number in the millions.
With respect to Title II, in order to try to assure that the program reaches those disadvantaged workers most in need, we would suggest the following:
1. In Sec. 202 (1), the words "might not be fully productive" should be clarified to better indicate what is meant. We assume it refers to a worker who is not as fully productive as the workers the employer normally would hire for the same job.
2. In Sec. 202 (4), the reference to "costs of spoilage of work" should be preceded by the word "excessive" or something similar to indicate that reimbursement is for unusual costs.
3. In Sec. 203 (2), there should be reference to the method of certification of eligible employees, which should be the responsibility of the employment service or the Concentrated Employment Program in the community.
4. In Sec. 204, the safeguard against the use of funds provided by the program “to transfer any enterprise from one area to another" should be in
terms of employment as well as the enterprise. So far as Title III is concerned, we would point out that the protection offered by the Fair Labor Standards Act in the area of public service employment is minimal. As a standard for seeking to accomplish the purposes of this bill, it leaves much to be desired. We recognize that the inclusion of this provision is designed to provide a protective floor. Just as we recognize that in many areas, the prevailing wage rate will provide a more beneficial minimum. Nevertheless, we are convinced that the real goals of this legislation will not be accomplished if the main targets of the public sector programs are jobs paying the $1.15 hourly rate that now applies to schools and hospitals. Accordingly, we would suggest that the Subcommittee indicate in the bill that its intention in this respect is to establish a priority for jobs in which wages are above the FLSA floor.
We believe that to do otherwise would help to defeat the intent, and purpose of the forward-looking effort which is embodied in this bill.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, we advocate, as we have in the past, a considerably greater effort with respect to jobs in public service employment. Obviously what is proposed in the bill under consideration–300,000 such jobs in Fiscal 1969. 600,000 in Fiscal 1970, and 1.2 million in Fiscal 1971 and 1972–is a significant step forward and we are encouraged by it.
We are on record, however, in support of legislation which would create one million such jobs immediately and we so recommend to this Subcommittee.
We believe jobs in that number are needed-now. We believe they will make a meaningful contribution to society-to the people who need jobs as well as to the people who need public services. And we believe that it represents a realistic program aimed at accomplishing the goal of this Subcommittee the elimination of poverty.
The AFL-CIO's 1967 convention passed numerous resolutions emphasizing the need for immediate federal action creating one million public service jobs.
The urgency of such a program was spelled out in the convention's resolution on "America's Urban Crisis." As this resolution declared :
"America's urban crisis did not come upon this nation without warning. It has been coming for a long time.
“This national complex of social and economic problems cannot be solved by city or state governments in isolation. Neither can it be mainly solved by private enterprise, even with the promise of tax subsidies. Solutions to these problems require nationwide social and economic measures, with adequate federal funds and federal standards and with the cooperation of city and state governments and private groups. ...
"America cannot wait any longer to get started. The federal government must supply the leadership and resources to the comprehensive national effort that is mandatory."
In closing, Mr. Chairman, I would once again like to express our appreciation for having been given the opportunity to present our views on S. 3063 and to congratulate you for having the wisdom and courage to introduce this bill, which we in the AFL-CIO regard as vitally needed legislation. Thank you very much.
Senator CLARK, Our final witness is Dr. Frank Riessman, director, New Careers Development Center, New York University.
Dr. Riessman, I apologize for keeping you waiting so long. I have had a chance to read your testimony which I think is most valuable. We will have it printed in full in the record.
I am particularly gratified over your specific recommendations for changes in the bill which we will consider very carefully. You summarized them in your statement but you discuss them in a detailed way throughout your prepared statement.
I think in view of the lateness of the hour I will ask you to summarize your own views from your statement as to what you think are the most important aspects of this bill and where changes should be made.
To give you a frame of reference, I am particularly interested in where you stress the need for the requirement for the training of supervisory personnel, and then you come down with the same general thought dealing with crediting employers with respeet to additional training of supervisory personnel.
I did think that the other witnesses took a rather cavalier view of what seems to me to be a terribly important problem of assuring that we do have the skills to adequately train, all the way from motivation to technology, these enormous numbers of hard-core unemployed that wonld be put to work under these bills.
Perhaps you can take over from there and give us your thinking about the size and complexity of the program and put the matter perhaps in a little bit better perspective.
STATEMENT OF FRANK RIESSMAN, PH. D., DIRECTOR, NEW
CAREERS DEVELOPMENT CENTER, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, NEW YORK CITY
Mr. RIESSMAN. A couple of introductory comments will deal directly with that and some of the previous testimony. There is a good deal of concern being given to the recruitment of the hard-core poor. Most of the efforts indicates that they are easy to recruit but they are difficult to keep.
I think one of the major points we want to make here is the way of keeping them is not to simply offer on-the-job, introductory skill training, and the bill is very positive on several of these points; what is required is the development of supportive services and the whole supportive pattern connected with real benefits.
Senator CLARK. I would like to have you expand on this word of art, supportive services.
Mr. RIESSMAN. Yes. Supportive services includes obviously more than skill training. It includes the use of backup persons, or coaches. It includes the training of supervisors, middle line management. We note in the bill there does not seem to be a provision for supportive services in the private sector. We think
this is a major error and should be changed. Senator CLARK. Now I take it you would think that the private employer should get reimbursement credit in the inducement given to him for creating supportive services?
Mr. RIESSMAN. Yes. Senator CLARK. Do you think it ought to be spelled out in detail what kind of supportive services we are talking about?
Mr. RIESSMAN. There are a variety of kinds that ought to be considered, including possibly the supporting of training centers that would provide training for supervisory personnel.
Just a word on this. In the “Jobs Now" program in Chicago, which we mention here, where there was supportive backup by coaches, the holding power on the job was enormously greater than it was in situations where they did not have these coaches.
Senator CLARK. You use the word "coaches” which I have used myself without thinking very much about it. Is this what these people are, really, coaches?
Mr. RIESSMAN. Well, they are people who in a sense intervene, back up the worker and intervene for him with the employer and interpret him to the employer.
You raised the question earlier of the need for a training staff, training capability. We don't have enough trainers. It should be noted that those coaches were themselves not long ago hard-core workers, who had moved up to these nonprofessional positions.
Senator CLARK. You mean hard-core nonworkers, don't you !
Mr. RIESSMAN. Nonworkers, excuse me and who were brought into the system, not only given jobs but given the possibility of going somewhere.
I think this whole concept of going somewhere, giving somebody some real benefits, is crucial to connect the supportive services. Otherwise, the supportive services concept can be a kind of con game where you are nice to people and you talk to them nice, you have buddies and so forth, but you don't give them anything:
I frankly think, and I will talk about the Javits bill in a minute if you will, I prepared some testimony on that, I think some of the discussion this morning relates to this very much.
This is going to be a more complicated and initially more expensive plan than may be envisioned in the Javits bill. It seems to me too little money is appropriated for doing the job that is necessary in the private sector.
The crucial need to have the private sector develop a competitive, effective, productive employee is all decisive.
The point I want to make on that is that I do not think that a bill should be developed which goes on supporting forever a worker who is nonproductive.