Page images

when it is so demanding that he is not going to have a career in terms of pay and other benefits that are in relation to what he must perform.

Senator CLARK. This leads to the problem of correctional services where a study is now under way, sponsored by this committee and passed by the Congress. How do we deal with the problem of the shortage of skilled manpower in the various correctional disciplines all the way from prison warden to policeman and to probation patrol officer to prison psychiatrist?

Here is an area where we do not have the skills and there is no inducement to go into those areas. The present turnover of prison wardens is frightening.

They are in and out of a position in no time at all.

Mr. Esser. I share your concerns. Having had some experience before I came into my present task with the institute of government at the University of North Carolina, we had quite an extensive program dealing with the correctional field.

I think in terms of pay but in terms of nature of job, through education, we have to develop more challenge for the people who are filling the jobs.

In our own State, the attitude of the correctional employees in the prison system has been dramatically changed since we developed a number of things, among which is a most successful work release program.

So the prison official and the employee himself assess the rehabilitation process day by day and I think this sort of challenge can be most effective in the years to come if we are willing to be innovative and make the investments necessary to attract and educate the people filling those tasks.

Senator CLARK. Would you turn now to page 4 of your statement, the paragraph which begins in the middle of the page, the second sentence.

We view the purpose of governmental employment as a stopgap measure that will develop participants to the level at which they may later enter the competitive job market.

Our friends of the AFL-CIO testified here the other day and they did not agree with that and I do not agree with it, either. I believe there are wide areas in the public sector where you can build a permanent career.

We cannot expect the free enterprise system and the competitive job market to provide the goods and services which our people have come to demand. I give you this somewhat classic view in order to provide you the opportunity to support your argument.

Mr. Esser. I think it is a question of communication.

In terms of developing careers in public employment, I feel that there will be more jobs being developed in the next 10, 15, 20 years in the public sector than there will be in the private sector.

Senator Clark. You say you do or do not?

Mr. Esser. I do. I think it is in the public sector that we have some of the most demanding needs in this country.

I think what I was trying to say here, and it is not polished, is that I would not want to see that the government as the employer of last resort, in the sense for example of the way in which poorer mountaineers were brought into the so-called “happy-pappy program".

Senator CLARK. Such as the WPA?

Mr. ESSER. I don't think we want to consider jobs as a last resort and as a permanent part of our employment picture. We want to build in both the private and public sectors an employment system and through education opportunities, so that what the government had to provide would be minimal.

Senator CLARK. Do you have any thoughts on this negative income tax idea, where the people would not be working but would not be on welfare?

Mr. Esser. I am speaking personally on this, Senator Clark.

First of all, I think some way must be found for assistance to those who cannot work to reach a level which will enable them to lead a much better life--the old, the handicapped, the very young.

I personally feel until the time when we can handle some of the situations such as you refer to such as the sanitation workers-until we can raise the wage rate for menial task to a level that will produce enough to feed, house, and clothe the families of this country that we must seek a device that will insure that those families have an adequate income over and above what the wage earner can earn.

I feel that this country has the wealth and the affluence to assure all of its children and all of its productive citizens, no matter how menial the task may be, a normal standard of living.

Senator Clark. All of us are certainly pretty well wedded to the concept that you provide for a family by working for a living. I think it is also now accepted that if you don't have any money and cannot get a job, the community must pay you enough to keep you and your wife and children alive.

Where the line is drawn, I just do not know. I suspect you would agree that our system of welfare across the country has not been a conspicuous success.

Mr. Esser. It has been the reverse when we look at the number of broken families which the situation has created and will continue to create every day, particularly in cases where the male is unemployable.

Senator CLARK. So what do we do about it?

Mr. Esser. On the one hand, certainly a change in the welfare provisions is needed.

The solution I prefer is to provide those people with jobs and liope. fully with jobs that will lead to a career. If they cannot qualify for that type of job then I think it must be a job that is government supported employment as the employer of last resort.

Senator Clark. That does not really deal with the vexing problem of the widow with four, five, six, or even seven minor children.

Mr. Esser. That is correct, and that is why I feel that recognizing all of the problems we must make provision for a decent income for people in this situation.

Personally, I think it is better to provide that income than to force that widow to work, because if she has to work her children, particularly if they are young, are being deprived of the care needed from a mother.

How we put all of the pieces together, I think it is the same sort of perplexing problem when we are dealing with manpower.

I am not sure how we put these pieces together, but we have to have a system that when put together will provide an adequate income for every American family.

Senator CLARK. Senator Javits and some of the rest of us have laid some stress on day care centers where a mother can take a job and make a living while the children are taken care of in a day nursery.

Do you feel some families have to be dealt with on an ad hoc basis? In some cases it is much better for the mother to stay home and take care of the children?

Mr. Esser. In many cases we end up with problems with the children which would not have occurred had the mother been at home with the children.

Senator Clark. Will you turn to that part of your statement, the paragraph beginning at the bottom of the

page: In particular, the “local service company" concept, where groups of hard-core unemployed persons may establish their own companies to receive Federal aid and eventually become profitmaking, illustrates faith in poor's potential.

This has been given a high priority in the S. 3249, the Employment Incentive Act of 1968.

I must say that I am pretty skeptical about it. Do you have any experience which would lead you to believe that you can take a group of hard-core unemployed and through the magic of creating a corporation, which some of our friends think is the answer to all of our problems, turn them into a group that can conduct a business and make a profit.

I would be pretty skeptical.

Mr. Esser. We are experimenting with it in our State in several places. I would certainly agree that this is a very difficult thing to do.

On the other hand, we particularly found this in the Negro community. There is a great need and there are great benefits from good community organization carried on by Negroes and in the ghetto.

As they are brought together and become concerned with their own need, they begin to develop some economic objectives. For example, we have one large community agency in one North Carolina city which began having buying clubs for their members in order to take advantage of discounts.

This is developing now into possibilities of larger retail business involving as employees the members of this organization.

We have another city where the domestics, and there are some 10,000 in that city that are seeking better wages, better conditions, who have organized themselves, taken additional training and they are now marketing their services on a much more business-like basis.

Senator CLARK. I am glad you brought that up, because there is such a stigma today around domestic service and there is a shortage of competent domestics.

It seems to me that is a real shame that some psychological method cannot be devised, whereby when you have specific labor shortage and unemployment in a slum area the two cannot be brought together.

One of the methods, and I want to know if you agree, is to upgrade The general view of domestic service so that it is considered an honorable way of making a living.

Mr. Esser. It is not only a psychological problem but it is a problem of money. Many people who want domestic service also want to pay as little as possible for it.

The domestics of which I am speaking are giving better service for more pay and this is having an educational impact on people.

People are beginning to realize by paying more they are getting better service. Psychologically, I think it is of great advantage to the domestic to feel he or she is upgrading the nature of employment but it has to be accompanied by education of the employer.

We find, certainly, in the city where this experiment is taking place that many housewives are beginning to take their place in the educational process.

They recognize, really, the justice behind the request for more pay and they are taking the lead in helping to explain to the economy-atlarge what the objectives of this organization are.

My only experience in observing domestic service is that we need the domestics to have a better ability to provide better service.

I think there is a great potential here.

Senator CLARK. I agree with you. It is an impossibility to get any. one to come in and cook dinner for you in these days.

Mr. Esser. There is a problem not only with domestics but custodial workers.

Senator Clark. Thank you very much, Mr. Esser. Senator CLARK. Mr. Patricelli is here representing Senator Javits whose plane, I guess, is flying around over National Airport unable to land because of the very heavy traffic. This is customary procedure for those of us who are trying to go back and forth from our home States.

Mr. PATRICELLI. There is a proposal spelled out in S. 3249 that the States should have allocated to them some 40 percent of the public service employment funds to pass through to the localities under a State plan arrangement.

I believe you have a State manpower organization in North Carolina. Does your experience under that organization or do you yourself on other grounds feel that some kind of State role should be built into this kind of a program?

Mr. Esser. The statewide manpower corporation we have in North Carolina is basically a research and development corporation and private, nonprofit.

On the other hand, I believe it is always hard to determine what the role of all of the governmental units is, but I think certainly the State has great responsibilities first with respect to information, the exchange of information from community to community, particularly in an area of mixed urban-rural, and the availability of jobs.

Secondly, the State obviously, depending on the responsibilities of the State--in my State, for example, the State has significant responsibility for vocational and technical education which is obviously an important part of this. On the other hand, I think that the communities have developed perhaps the best capacity thus far to plan and direct manpower programs.

I am not sure to what extent I see the State directing or helping in the planning of local manpower programs except to the extent that State functions are involved in the administration of those programs. We are having the experience obviously all across the country in the concentrated employment programs that State agencies are being drawn in for the planning rightfully for concentrated employment programs.

But very often they do not have as much understanding of how these programs should be administered.

I think that the State definitely has a role in any employment program because of the resources and functions that they carry out.

I am not quite so sure as to the extent to which both the State and the Federal Government should try to determine the criteria or guidelines for employment programs in the same community if

you follow


Mr. PATRICELLI. Do you think there might be a particular role for the States in connection with programs in the rural areas, with which you have a particular concern?

Isn't there a greater lack of expertise in rural communities as compared to the cities in mounting manpower programs and would it make sense to try to go through the States in that connection?

Mr. Esser. There would be an opportunity for a direct Stateadministered manpower situation in that State or the creation of nonprofit organizations in a region or utilizing other governmental units that are organized on a regional basis such as the development district under the Economic Development Act.

As a matter of fact, we have a rural sector in North Carolina which has been organized. The area was designed essentially under the development district area so that the administering organization will be a nonprofit organization representing those counties.

I think there is a great deal of flexibility which we can follow in these areas.

Mr. WENNER. I would like to respond to that. It seems to us that the history of the Economic Opportunity Act is something that should be looked at in this regard.

The Office of Economic Opportunity said to the States from the very beginning that it knew that one of its greatest weaknesses was its ability to mount rural programs and that it asked the States through their State technical assistance offices to help mount rural programs.

The history of that State involvement is not helpful.

The States somehow or other could not find the resources to fill this great vacuum in rural resources so we question whether overnight the States are going to be able to fill the manpower needs of rural America, either.

Yes, there is a role for State government as Mr. Esser has outlined. There are lots of things they can do, but an arbitrary division of slots merely compounds problems and in the long range it is not a helpful solution.

Mr. PATRICELLI. Would you not say, Mr. Wenner, that the OEO approach to State technical assistance offices has never been one of particular willingness to delegate authority to those offices?

Have they been given a real opportunity to do their best vis-a-vis rural areas in the States?

You would not necessarily judge the capacity of States according to the results of the State technical assistance offices under the Office of Economic Opportunity Act?

« PreviousContinue »