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Senator MONDALE. Let me return 1 minute to that one question. Suppose we pursued a policy in Watts of telling the mothers you are not going to get AFDC. We may provide it to your children, someway -I don't know how you are going to do it-but we are going to do that unless you get out and work and we succeed in getting them all out working-those who can. Do you see a long-term damage to those children from having their mothers gone or do you think on balance it might be a good policy? How do you look at that issue?
Mr. Watkins. Let me say this. You are telling the mothers with kids they have to go out and earn a living for those kids. I have to take the same position as John L. Lewis took back when he was leading the miners back at the coal mines, that I would lead them. I would be in front of those mothers and protest against that kind of position. I am not against mothers working. I have six kids myself and one of the things I demanded of my wife was she stay at home and raise those kids. My wife has never worked, regardless of how poor we were, or what we had to eat. I thought the important part of a mother was to be with those kids.
This is not saying mothers shouldn't work. I think again there has to be a national commitment. There is no reason why- for instance, I know parts in Israel where they have created communities where mothers, kids and everything else could be properly cared for. To pull a mother away from a group of kids who can't leave these kids with the proper care, doesn't do anything but create other problems. With our problems today, I don't think they are anything like what they are going to be in 10 years when those kids that are there now begin to cause an explosion, begin to innovate and find out there is nothing in the future for them because I am not just looking at kids that are out of jobs. We have seen kids that are completely out of society and I don't think that the care they are getting right now as far as the welfare funds are concerned, are doing the most good for them because there isn't enough of those funds to properly care for them or their family.
Senator Cranston. I gather that you work totally in the Watts community. Is there any comparable work being carried on by others in Willow Brook and Compton or other communities?
Mr. WATKINS. Our work in the main has been what we call community improvement. This is the area we work in. There are many programs, many vitally needed programs that do all kinds of other things. Basically I don't know of any other organization in the United States that does the same thing that we do. There are many programs that do different things and all of them are important to making this whole community.
Senator CRANSTON. Speaking as an individual and not as a representative of your organization, have you studied S. 2838 carefully enough to have some views on it?
Mr. Watkins. Yes, let me say that I have-as an individual?
Mr. WATKINS. The only thing about it is I am still on the payroll, you know, and I've seen this done before, I have appeared before many of these committees and I watched the destruction of one of our leaders in Watts because he appeared in Washington, D.C. before one of these
committees and when they got to checking the record they found out that he was still on the payroll and therefore he was testifying while he was on the Federal payroll and they wiped him out.
Let me say again I do not wish to testify on that bill.
Senator MONDALE. Well, you think it would be good public policy for Governor Reagan and the manpower program, don't you?
Mr. Watkins. You are just playing games.
Thank you very much, Mr. Watkins for your very impressive testimony.
Senator CRANSTON. I would like to thank you for not seeking to influence us in any way and I am sure you didn't.
Senator MONDALE. Let the record show he is one of the most uninfluential men we have ever heard testify.
Our next witness is Mr. Lawrence T. Čooper, president, the Management Council for Merit Employment, and the metro director of the National Alliance of Businessmen (NAB).
Mr. Cooper, we are glad to have you here today and express our appreciation to you for your patience in waiting.
STATEMENT OF LAWRENCE T. COOPER, PRESIDENT, THE MANAGE
MENT COUNCIL FOR MERIT EMPLOYMENT METRO DIRECTOR,
I wasn't bright enough to consult an attorney before I came here to see if I could testify with respect to legislation, but I would have to confess that the Management Council is substantially supported by funds from private foundations, so if you will give me the same status you did my good friend Ted Watkins, I would like to tell you a story.
Senator VONDALE. We would be delighted to.
Mr. COOPER. I would like to tell you a story, and I may have one opinion that I would like to express.
I wear two hats here because as a matter of the historical development in our community, Management Council came first and it is a nonprofit corporation, it is small. It acts as a catalyst and tries to bring various forces together in order to solve the problems of unemployment among disadvantaged minority people. It was formed by "Chad" McClellan with some assistance by the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce in the fall of 1965.
I have been president of this organization now for about 6 months and I have been associated with it ever since September of 1966.
My relationship to NAB was a little more general at first after NAB came into Los Angeles approximately 17 months ago.
The NAB needed assistance in getting started here, and informally we were very close to it. My term of office as metropolitan director of NAB in the Los Angeles area dates back to about last April.
May I just say this by way of orientation. I spent 42 years as part of the management in the Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Co. prior to my retirement, and I only mention that because practically all that time was spent here in the Los Angeles area.
Informally I would seek to represent to you some of the feelings, some of the activities in the private sector. That would reach both management council and NAB who are involved as you would know. I would like to say, and I hope this isn't commenting on legislation—it is rather commenting on history, I believe—that without these Federal funds which have been instrumental in the training of so-called disadvantaged people, our community would have been in a much less helpful and hopeful state than it is today because of those funds. I think they are terribly important and the burden of what I want to say is I hope that not only are they continued, but that they are increased. If that is commenting on legislation I would hope to be excused.
The management council was formed in response to the Watts riots of 1965, and came out of a conviction that more needed to be done to provide jobs. Since the private sector at least in past history and the present situation has about six-sevenths of all the jobs that are available, obviously it was up to the private sector to do what it could about it.
Since the riots occurred in Watts it was natural of course to go to south central Los Angeles to see what could be done in the beginning.
As has been indicated in a way before, at that time in Watts approximately half the people who were listed as unemployed--and I don't mean this represents the total census of people who perhaps ought to have been employed-did have some marked skills, but there were problems of getting people and jobs together.
The result was that the first efforts of the management council in persuading employers to get to work on this job as they never had before were not difficult in which to achieve success. Within a matter of a month 50 large corporations had sent people to south central Los Angeles, to 103d Street, to actually recruit. We discovered this was necessary. You couldn't wait for people to come to you.
As a result of this activity and other things that were associated with it, a survey was made in November of 1966 to just see how we were getting along. Management council at that time was working with about 250 firms and this was just a beginning. We are now up to somewhere around 3,000 firms that we work with directly.
The results of that survey made in November of 1966 were that 201 of these 250 firms answered in writing. What they were asked to do was to actually to go to their payrolls and count the number of black people that had been hired from the so-called curfew area. Now this is much bigger than the area Ted Watkins was talking about and you are familiar with. These reports indicated that 17,903 black people had been hired. This was very encouraging and was a good start.
The next problem-may I digress a bit-perhaps in other testimony this has been thrown in, but you have asked a number of questions about why doesn't there seem to be more progress in unemployment in south central Los Angeles.
While I have been here in the last hour and a half nobody has offered the observation which I think is important and true, and that is that south central Los Angeles is a port of in-migration of very large proportion. Estimates which we have would indicate that black people are coming into south central Los Angeles at the rate of 1,000 a month-this is total population of course, and that Mexican-Americans and similar Spanish-speaking people are coming into east Los Angeles at the rate of 800 a month.
So in some respects we have to run fast or stand still on this problem. Senator CRANSTON. How fast are they moving out of those points of embarkation to other areas?
Mr. COOPER. I can only give you, Senator, one bit of information about this and it is tied into a survey which U.S.C. made for the management council and I would like to refer to it a little bit for just a minute.
The indication was that when people got jobs in south central Los Angeles, that about 30 to 40 percent of them moved to better locations, to better housing and maybe it was just west of the Harbor Freeway instead of staying on the east side of the Harbor Freeway, but they did move and consequently we feel sure that there is a steady movement of people out of south central Los Angeles into other areas and that they are replaced by people coming into this Los Angeles County area from quite different areas in the United States.
So this is a migration problem, it's a terrific one. My personal observation would be that the new residents in these areas are really less capable of taking jobs than even those who were here before. They are not particularly oriented to city life for one thing, and their total experience is kind of a nonindustrial relationship. I just throw this in because I think it is an important fact in the study of what really is happening here and that is we've really got a tremendous immigration that we have to cope with.
Now as contrasted to the fact that in the fall of 1965, perhaps half of these listed unemployed people had marketable skills, there is ample agreement today that 90 percent of the unemployed people in our disadvantaged areas have got to have some kind of prejob training before they can take even entry level jobs in business and industry
This is a very substantial change and there isn't any answer to this problem other than remedial basic education and training.
Let me tell you just a little bit about the sort of thing that has happened and I think more of it has to happen.
The first attack on the problem was the so-called skill center. These are supported by MDTA funds devoted to the use of institutional type education and training. We have five of them in Los Angeles now.
The first ones were established in 1966 and now there are a total of five of these; four of these are operated by the Los Angeles City School District and one of them is operated by a private training institution, the West Coast Trade Schools. I would say that the jobs they do in either case is comparable and it's good.
The population in these training schools, of course, depends on the amount of funds available. Unfortunately, while some 10,000 people so far have been enrolled in these five skill centers, the skill centers have never been able to operate at more than roughly about 50 percent capacity due to funding situations.
There have been thousands of people waiting to get into them in spite of the fact that the first one that was opened was actually picketed by the people whom it was intended to serve simply because there wasn't good understanding of what the skill center was intended to do.
These have been successful institutions—the five of them.
I can only wish that during this past couple of years we had been able to operate them at full capacity, and those additional costs would not have been in proportion to the cost existing because you already have the plants, you already have the equipment, you already have the management and the supervision, so the additional cost would have simply been the added costs of instructor services to take care of the additional people.
About two-thirds to three-fourths--it varies a little depending on the type of course and of the enrollees in the skill centers, completed the course. This is rather remarkable in itself, and of those who completed the course and stayed in this labor market area—a few moved away, a few did some other things that were different—of those who completed the course and stayed in this labor market area, 93 percent of them had meaningful jobs in 2 weeks after the end of the period of training. This has been a major attack upon this tremendous unemployment problem in this area and it would be tragic if this program were not continued.
I would like to offer a few comments, and here again I hope this doesn't relate to legislation—this deals more with administration perhaps than legislation.
The problems have been something like these in addition to the fact that there wasn't enough money to really run them at the capacity at which they should have enjoyed. In some of the smaller skill centers you cannot offer the same range of courses in skill training that you can in larger ones. This means that you either turn away the individual from the sort of training for which he is suited, and which he wants or perhaps you accept him with some doubt in your mind about the type of training hoping that perhaps it is going to be what he wants and what he can use.
Now that is rather a minor problem but the training in such cases has not exactly been appropriate. The figures run something like onetenth of the total trainees graduating were placed in jobs which were not directly connected with the training which they got in the skill center. If we can correct this by the amplification of the courses offered in all the skill centers which are geographically located all over this wide area-East Los Angeles, Watts, Venice, Pacomia, and Southwest Los Angeles, of course we can improve this sort of situation.
Another problem we have had is that the funding has been kind of off and on. For example, last year and this year, the money to operate that should have been available a little prior to the 1st of September, didn't actually arrive until November or December.
Now the instructor forces in these skill centers are not taken out of the regular school. These people are recruited from industry and this is a very good thing, this is the practical way to teach. It simply means that you lay off these people and then have to hunt them up later and get them back again. Now I understand that in the legislation just passed, with respect to appropriations, that there is an opportunity to continue past June 30 of any fiscal year with some of the money that is available and perhaps this will help with this problem.
Now the second thing that came into the picture that I want to talk about, and I am only trying to talk about the things with which I am personally familiar, is the so-called manpower administrative series of funding, MA-2, 3, 4, and 5. We are now in the No. 5 stage. We have had very good experience in this area with every indication that even in the MA-5, and we have been at this now for just a couple months, that we will have even greater success in contracts of this sort than we have ever had before.