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EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING LEGISLATION—1968
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 1968
MANPOWER, AND POVERTY OF THE
Washington, D.C. The subcommittee met at 9:30 a.m., pursuant to call, in the auditorium, G-308, New Senate Office Building, Senator Joseph S. Clark (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Senators Clark, Pell, Kennedy of New York, Javits, Prouty, and Murphy. Committee staff
members present: Stewart E. McClure, chief clerk; John S. Forsythe, general counsel; Eugene Mittelman, minority counsel of the committee; William C. Smith, counsel; Michael W. Kirst, professional staff member; Robert E. Patricelli, minority counsel of the Subcommittee on Employment, Manpower, and Poverty; and Peter C. Benedict, minority labor counsel.
Senator CLARK. The subcommittee will be in session.
The subcommittee is most grateful for Governor Kerner of Illinois willingness to take time in his busy schedule to be with us today, and we are looking forward with keen interest to his statement.
I have an opening statement which I should like to read for the record, which outlines the reasons for these hearings and how we intend to conduct them and what our objective is.
We begin hearings today on one of the most important problems of our time—the problem of hard-core unemployment.
There are many aspects of this problem which we will be examining and I think it would be worth while to pose some of the issues that I, as one member of the subcommittee, will want to inquire into, both today with three members of the Riot Commission and at later sessions with future witnesses.
But before doing so, I will outline the main features of the legislation before us.
On February 29, I introduced the Emergency Employment and Training Act of 1968-a bill designed to provide jobs and job training in both the public and private sectors of our economy for 2.4 million hard-core unemployed during the next 4 years.
I interpolate at this point that this program is strikingly similar to that recommended by the Riot Commission of 2 million jobs in 3 years. I would also like to stress that this is a coincidence. We had no leaks from the Commission which had anything to do with organizing our program.
I personally feel pretty good about the fact that we came out with almost the same answer from the different studies we were conducting.
Our program is designed to close what the unemployment and job vacancy statistics reveal as a “job gap" of 2.4 million. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 4.4 million unemployed working age Americans who at any given time in recent years are either looking for jobs or have given up looking for work in the labor market.
On the other side of the equation there are estimated to be as many as 2 million job vacancies at any one time. Thus, of the 4.4 million unemployed, 2.4 million couldn't find a job no matter how qualified they were. The Emergency Employment and Training Act, which we are about to consider, is designed to close that gap. It would do so by creating 1.2 million public service jobs in local, urban and rural poverty areas throughout the country-jobs which will be socially useful and meaningful, and not just leaf raking:
There is no connection between this job program and the old WPA of the New Deal days, although I feel that that program was itself socially useful.
These jobs will improve our cities, towns and rural areas, rebuild our blighted neighborhoods, improve the physical environment in which we live, and provide for many of the human services needs that are not now being met.
These will be jobs also which will lead to career opportunities in private enterprise.
The remaining 1.2 million jobs would be created in private enterprise by providing private employers with the financial incentives necessary to hire, train, and keep low-income people on their payrolls.
Now, what do we hope to accomplish at these hearings?
There is certainly no lack of proposed solutions to the problems of hard-core unemployment. Spread upon the public record are:
First, the proposals that this subcommittee made 4 years ago in its report, "Toward Full Employment,” for a public service employment program for the hard-core unemployed.
Second, bills for guaranteed and last-resort employment programs, which I understand, Governor, your Commission carefully considered and came out with a modified recommendation.
Third, bills sponsored by many of my colleagues to provide tax inducements to private industry to locate in poverty areas and to hire and train the hard-core unemployed. This matter was also given careful consideration by your Commission.
Fourth, the recommendation of the National Commission on Automation, Technology and Economic Progress in February 1966, over 2 years ago, that a 5-year program be established to provide 5 million public service jobs.
Fifth, the recommendation of the 1966 White House Conference on Civil Rights that the Federal Government assume responsibility for providing employment to workers who are unable to find productive employment in the regular job market.
Sixth, the report of the National Advisory Commission on Food and Fiber in July 1967, that public service employment be provided in rural areas and carefully integrated with training and relocation programs.
Seventh, the recommendation of the President's National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty that “the U.S. Government stand ready to provide jobs at the national minimum wage, or better, to every unemployed person willing and able to work."
Eighth, and most recent, the recommendations of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, whose members we will hear today, that in 3 years 2 million new jobs be created for the hard-core unemployed-one-half in the public and one-half in the private sector. Surely this problem has been researched endlessly, not only by the committees and commissions which I have mentioned, but by the entire expertise of the United States in this whole area of manpower, employment and poverty.
Surely the time has now come to stop talking and to come forward with meaningful legislative and administrative action, and surely, gentlemen, this is the highest priority for the United States of America today.
The problem is not one of finding constructive solutions. I think the problem now is to find out how to make it possible for the best of these proposals to become programs-programs implemented with sufficient funds. I stress that because the sums of money needed will be large, and because skilled administrative manpower is scarce in these areas, to accomplish what everybody knows today or at least ought to know has to be done and done quickly. We have very little time.
It will be very, very hot this summer, next summer, and the summer after, that unless we in the Congress and they in the administration and the Governors and mayors of all of the local and State governments move on these programs promptly and with adequate funding.
The time has come when the brainpower, talent and dedication that has been so constructively devoted to studies and reports by task forces, commissions, and committees be applied to the task of making it possible for our political institutions, at all levels of government, to pass laws and carry out programs to fulfill the long sought goals of equal opportunity and social justice. In this area the cooperation of the private sector of the economy is absolutely essential and cannot be merely token. It must be massive.
So first, I hope these hearings will result in bringing out a bill in this one problem area, the area of hard-core unemployment. I want a bill that can be passed and signed by the President, and which will be meaningful, not just a token bill full of pious expressions of the support but no hard cash to accomplish what needs to be done. Finally, I know that this legislation will lead to jobs for the poor.
Second, I hope this subcommittee this year will continue the task which it began last year when we studied the poverty programs administered by the Office of Economic Opportunity.
We are now, according to the President, spending more than $12 billion on manpower programs.
One would think the Subcommittee on Employment, Manpower, and Poverty, and the public generally would know where this money is being spent, but we don't, and nobody else does either.
So we want to find out a great deal about existing programs—what they have accomplished and why, in some instances, they have failed. And what the gaps are between promise and performance. How can we close those gaps?
To illustrate, I would like to quote several observations on our manpower efforts from a paper prepared by Dr. Garth L. Mangum, of the National Manpower Policy Task Force, incidentally, a former staff member of this subcommittee.
This paper was prepared and issued about 2 months ago, and I quote:
1. There is no Federal manpower policy in the dictionary sense: "A definite course of action selected from many alternatives, and in light of given conditions, to guide and determine present and future decisions."
2. The vast array of Federal manpower programs does not emerge as part of any systematic effort to identify and provide each of the services needed by various disadvantaged groups or by all the disadvantaged. Instead individual acts were written, considered, and amended in rapid succession to meet current crises, real or imagined, with little attention to their interrelations.
I suspect that is a statement with which my good friend from Vermont would concur.
3. The administrative capability to deliver manpower services has yet to be developed. At the local level there is no single agency or combination of easily accessible institutions where those seeking help can find it. Neither has any community the resources to provide some type of service to all who need it. A multiplicity of Federal funding sources encourages interagency competition at the Federal level and a proliferation at the local level placing a premium on "grantsmanship."
4. Surprisingly little has been done, considering the number of programs and the level of expenditures, to develop or train capable staffs at any level of government.
The shortage of skilled manpower, I stress again, is critical. We have to do something about it.
5. Administration officials and Members of Congress have been too impatient to await the results of new and existing programs and to allow for restructuring, removal of negative elements, and finally their expansion into effective programs. As a result, there has been an excessive resort to gimmicks and to attempts to devise "instant policies for instant success." The procedure has become a familiar one. New approaches are designed intuitively rather than empirically. They are launched with public relations fanfare, complete with numerical goals and early target dates. Manipulation of numbers to “prove" success then becomes a major staff function until a quiet burial of the goals and targets can be devised.
6. For no programs are there adequate valid data for evaluation of strengths and weaknesses and no program currently has a reporting system capable of producing such data.
I point out this is not the chairman of this subcommittee speaking, it is Dr. Garth Mangum, one of the most qualified men in the manpower field in the country today.
While these statements are taken out of context, they illustrate some of the problems to which I hope we will find constructive solutions in these hearings, and if there is no objection to my friend from Vermont, I would like to have placed in the record at this point the entire text of Dr. Mangum's paper, evaluating Federal manpower programs.
Without objection, this will be done.
(The text of bills S. 3063, S. 3249, with amendment, S. 2938, and the document referred to above follow :)
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
FEBRUARY 29, 1968
Mr. MONDALE, Mr. MORSE, Mr. NELSON, Mr. PELL, Mr. RANDOLPH, Mr.
To provide employment and training opportunities for low
income and unemployed persons. 1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa
2 tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
3 That this Act may be cited as the "Emergency Employment
4 and Training Act of 1968”.
FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF PURPOSE
SEC. 2. (a) The Congress finds that,
(1) certain urban and rural communities and other areas in the Nation are presently burdened by severe unemployment and underemployment. Many such areas