View original document

The full text on this page is automatically extracted from the file linked above and may contain errors and inconsistencies.

U. S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
ROYAL MEEKER, Commissioner

BULLETIN OF THE UNITED STATES \
/W H O L E 1 Q C
BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS/ * * # \NUMBER 1 ^ 0
EMPLOYM ENT

AND

U N EM PLO YM EN T

S E R IE S :

NO.

3

PROCEEDINGS OF EMPLOYMENT
MANAGERS'

CONFERENCE

H L U D R TH A SPIC S O TH N TIO A SO IE FO T E
ED N E
E U E F E A N L C TY R H
PRO O N OF IN U IA E U A N AN T E M N A LIS
M TIO
D STR L D C TIO
D H IN E PO
C IC AN CO M
IV
D M ERCE A C TIO , JA U R 19 AN 20, 1916
SSO IA N N A Y
D




MAY, l t l f

WASHINGTON
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
1916




CONTENTS.
Page.

Introduction..................................................................................................
5
Proceedings at meetings of the conference....................................................... 6-82
Letter from Chamber of Commerce of the United States. .......................
6
The function of the employment department, by R. C. Clothier, manager,
employment department, Curtis Publishing Co., Philadelphia, Pa........ 7-14
Methods of reducing the labor turnover, by Boyd Fisher, vice president,
Executives’ Club, Detroit Board of Commerce, Detroit, Mich............. . 15-24
Public employment bureaus and their relation to managers of employ­
ment in industry, by Hilda Muhlhauser, director, Girls’ and Women’s
Bureau, Cleveland, Ohio......................................................................25-29
University schools of business and the training of employment executives,
by Harlow S. Person, director, Amos Tuck School of Administration
and Finance, Dartmouth College, N. H.......................... ......................30-38
Discussion...............................................................................................39-41
The aim and work of employment managers’ associations, by Meyer Bloom­
field, director of Vocation Bureau, Boston, Mass................................... 42-44
The new apprenticeship as a factor in reducing labor turnover, by Charles
A Prosser, director of Dunwoody Industrial Institute, Minneapolis, Minn. 45-52
Training the immigrant in industry, by William C. Smith, specialist in
classes for illiterates, State Department of Education, Albany, N. Y ... 53-56
Address by Hon. William C. Redfield, Secretary of Commerce................. 57-62
Work of the employment department of the Ford Motor Co., by George
Bundy, employment manager...............................................................63-71
Discussion..............................................................................................72-82




3




BULLETIN OF THE

U. S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.
w h o l e n o . im .

WASHINGTON.

may. i m

.

EMPLOYMENT MANAGERS’ CONFERENCE HELD AT MINNEAPOLIS,
JANUARY, 1916.
INTRODUCTION.
Of all industrial hazards, the most costly in money and in the
demoralization of the workers are unemployment, underemployment,
overemployment, irregular employment, and “ mal ’’-employment.
Statistics indicate that the losses from accident and illness are noth­
ing like as great as the losses from the maladjustment of labor.
It is a hopeful sign that employers are taking up seriously and
systematically the study of the methods, or lack of methods, of em­
ploying and discharging men, the possibility of regularizing indus­
try so as to diminish the difference between dull seasons, when em­
ployees are turned off or put on short time, and rush seasons, when
the workers are driven at feverish speed for extra hours, and the
advisability of taking an intelligent interest in every employee hired
with the view of fitting the job to the worker and the worker to the
most suitable job.
The attitude of some employers has been to regard the employee
as a kind of self-installing machine, which required no oiling or clean­
ing, no expense for upkeep or repairs, and was seldom worth conserv­
ing or safeguarding, because so easily replaceable from the great
number of similar human machines waiting at the factory gates. In
recent years associations for the purpose of studying the problems
of employment have been formed in many cities. Like all merito­
rious movements, this movement to promote the more intelligent
treatment of laborers has spread until it has become nation-wide.
A national conference of employment managers was held at Min­
neapolis on January 19 and 20, 1916, for the purpose of discussing
some of the problems that concern both employers and employees.
The papers presented at this conference and the discussions are
printed in this Bulletin.




R

oyal

M

eeker,

Commissioner of Labor Statistics.
5

BULLETIN OF TH E BUREAU OP LABOB STATISTICS.

6

PROCEEDINGS AT MEETINGS OF THE CONFERENCE.
Wednesday evening, January 19, 1916.
In connection with the annual convention of the National Society
for the Promotion of Industrial Education, and at the special in­
vitation of the Minneapolis Civic and Commerce Association, an
informal conference on employment management problems was ar­
ranged for on January 19 and 20, 1916, preceding the opening of
the National Society convention.
At the opening of the meeting, which was presided over by Mr.
Edgar J. Couper, president of the Civic and Commerce Association
of Minneapolis, Mr. Meyer Bloomfield, director of the Boston Voca­
tion Bureau, was .asked to act as secretary, and read a letter from
the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, as follows:

C ham ber

of

C om m erce

of th e

U

n it e d

S tates

of

A

m e r ic a ,

Washington, D. C., December 2,1915.
Mr.

M

eter

B l o o m f ie l d ,

Chairman of the Program Committee,
6 Beacon Street, Boston, Mass.
D e a r S ir : The officers of the Chamber of Commerce of the United
States have been interested in the movement for organizing the em­
ployment executives in business ever since the first association, the
Boston Employment Managers’ Association, was started by the Vo­
cation Bureau. The idea of treating the handling of help, from the
very time of selection, in a professional and technical way, appeals
to the business men. To treat the employment problem in industry
and commerce in a systematic way would tend to promote both busi­
ness prosperity and right industrial relations. There can be no ques­
tion that the business men of the country will give their moral sup­
port to any such effort, and on behalf of our directors I wish to
assure you of our desire to cooperate with you in every helpful way.
I f it should prove feasible to effect some form of working relations
between those who are active in employment managers’ associations
and the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, we
should be very glad to work to that end.
Very truly, yours,
(Signed)
J o h n H. F a h e y , President.




PROCEEDINGS OF EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

7

THE FUNCTION OF THE EMPLOYMENT DEPARTMENT.
BY R. C. CLOTHIER,

Manager, employment department, Curtis Publishing Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
INTRODUCTION.

I f you take any two business concerns engaged in the same industry
and allow to both the same mechanical advantages and the same
proficiency of method and system, the larger measure of success will
come to that concern which has advanced further toward the intelli­
gent development of its working force. It is perhaps natural that
industry, in studying out ways and means to expand and increase its
powers, should first bring into existence machines which make pos­
sible the multiplication and refinement o f its product. It is natural,
perhaps, that the next step should be the perfecting o f methods of
production and distribution to the end of eliminating as far as pos­
sible all waste and lost motion. In the same way it is natural that
industry, having solved these two problems in large degree, should
devote its attention to the development of the workers who operate
these machines and systems, and on whose efficiency, then, the effi­
ciency of these machines and systems depend. It is with this in mind
that we have come together at this conference to exchange ideas.
FIELD OF THE DEPARTMENT.

The phrase “ employment department ” is a misnomer if it is per­
mitted to convey the idea of a department maintained merely to keep
in touch with the labor market and to engage employees. Its func­
tion is infinitely broader. Summed up in one sentence, the employ­
ment department is the department whose purpose is to develop the
efficiency of the workers, directly or indirectly, and to bring about
a condition in which the individual employee will render as nearly as
possible 100 per cent service to his employer. The word “ employ,”
then, should signify “ continuous employment ” rather than the act
of engaging a worker and placing him on the pay roll.
FOUR DIVISIONS.

How, then, is the employment department to proceed? Into what
subordinate functions is its main function of the development of
personnel divided? There are four. Allow me to touch briefly upon
these subordinate functions.



8

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.
SELECTION.

O f course, the first is that of selection. When we go to construct
a machine, our first care is as to the material we put into it; similarly
when we go to build up an efficient working force, we must exercise
the greatest care as to the character and quality of the units which
are to comprise it. The employment department must naturally
keep a classified record of applicants, so that when vacancies occur,
to be filled, the executive in charge of engaging employees may be
able to get in touch with proper material. It must examine appli­
cants carefully, not only with respect to their fitness for the particu­
lar tasks they are to perform, but with respect to their constitutional
ability to harmonize with the ideals and underlying principles of the
company they are to serve; they must be capable of loyalty as well
as efficiency. The incoming employee, too, must be physically capable
of performing the duties about to be delegated to him. Not only
must he be muscularly strong enough for his tasks, but he must be
constitutionally in good health, and he must of course be free from
any impairment which might be communicated to his fellow workers.
For the medical examination of new employees, a company physician
should be in attendance under the direction of the employment
department.
INSTRUCTION.

The second subordinate function of the employment department
is, in most concerns, that of instruction. Instruction is the process
of developing a new employee capable of delivering, perhaps, 10 per
cent service into a trained worker capable of delivering 90 per cent
service or better. Methods of training differ with different concerns.
Different kinds of work, different kinds of organization, demand
different ways of conducting instruction work. Some concerns find
it best to maintain schools under salaried teachers for this purpose;
such schools should, of course, be under the direction of the employ­
ment department. Other concerns have their instruction work done
departmentally by persons designated to that task, or even by fore­
men and fellow employees. Where the instruction work is done in
this way, the employment department should be a very interested
party. It should either exercise direct control or a strong advisory
influence.
WELFARE.

The third subordinate function of the employment department is
that which has direct reference to the state of mind of the employee.
This division of the work is founded on the certainty that an em­
ployee who is happy and satisfied and free from anxiety, and who
works under favorable physical conditions, will do better work and



PROCEEDINGS OP EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS' CONFERENCE.

9

more of it than an employee who is dissatisfied and fearful of the
future, and who does his work in an unfavorable physical environ­
ment. For want of a better name, this division of the work is called
“ Welfare work,” a phrase which has fallen into some disrepute
because those in charge of welfare in many establishments have let
their hearts lead them astray, and because through lack of tact and
judgment, welfare work in certain quarters has been permitted to be
interpreted by the employees themselves as touching on altruism and
charity.
Welfare work is not altruism; it is not charity. Industry now
regards personnel as one of the big factors to be considered in every
undertaking, and if this is so, then the work of the welfare depart­
ment is an economic necessity. But this work must be conducted
along economic lines, as every other department is conducted; every
dollar spent on it must yield 100 cents in return. It must be thor­
oughly leavened with good, hard, common sense..
The employment department, through its welfare division, should
give constant attention to such things as light, air, sanitary arrange­
ments, and elevator service. It is not reasonable to expect an em­
ployee to reach his or her place of work in the establishment in the
right frame of mind to tackle the day’s work with eagerness, if he
has to pass through the gamut of damp, dark, and congested locker
rooms, and either climb several flights of stairs or wait his turn to
get on the elevator together with a crowd of fellow workers, all as
vexed as he. It is not reasonable to expect him to display interest
in the company as a whole if his employers fail to regard him in
measure as a partner—as he really is—and to provide for his physical
comfort and convenience accordingly. To bring the individual
employee to the frame of mind where he is able to deliver efficient
service, it is axiomatic that the employer, through the employment
department, should arrange for those physical surroundings which
will breed self-respect as well as a spirit of satisfaction.
Under the welfare division of the employment department, res­
taurants should be maintained for the use. of the employees, where
good food can be procured at minimum prices. I f this is not feasible,
encouragement should at least be given to some reputable caterer to
maintain a good, low-price restaurant in the immediate vicinity. The
former plan, however, is infinitely the better. Good food makes for
good health, especially when served under agreeable conditions—a
combination that is infrequently found in low-price restaurants.
Then again, at the lunch hour the employees meet as men and talk
as men; it is the time when opinions are formed, friendships made,
and esprit de corps developed.
After these fundamental and immediate welfare needs are satis­
fied, the employment department should devote its energies to the



10

BULLETIN OF TH E BUREAU OF LABOB STATISTICS.

development of an adequate beneficial association for the protection
of those employees who are taken sick. A staff of woman visitors
should regularly call at the homes of employees who are absent owing
to illness, for the sole purpose of assisting them in any reasonable
way and expressing the company’s interest in them. This work re­
quires tact and judgment, for any careless phrase interpreted by the
sick employee as savoring of charity will be resented, and any pos­
sible suggestion that the visit is really a pretext for detective work
in the home will arouse suspicion of the sincerity of the company’s
motives and alienate the worker’s loyalty and enthusiasm.
And in addition the welfare division should provide for a sound
pension system for the benefit of the superannuated employees who
have given their lives to the company and have grown old in its
service.
And when these matters, which are fundamental but not neces­
sarily immediate, have been adjusted, then the employment depart­
ment is at liberty, through its welfare division, to promote other but
less requisite enterprises for the benefit of the workers, such as
employees’ clubs, savings funds and social meetings, all of which
contribute to a favorable attitude of mind on the part of the em­
ployees.
MEDICAL.

The fourth subdivision of the work of the employment department
is one I have already touched on in discussing the examination of
applicants; that is, the medical work. Every large company should
have the services of a physician, either all-time or part-time, which
should be supplemented by adequate, if not elaborate, hospital facili­
ties. In addition to examining new employees, the physician should
periodically examine all employees on the pay roll, say every six
months, as a preventive measure. A timely examination may fre­
quently free an employee from the necessity of later giving up his
position, and may save his employer the cost and loss of getting a
new employee in his place. Two hospitals should be'maintained,
even if very small—one for man employees and one for woman em­
ployees. At least one orderly and nurse should be in constant attend­
ance, to give attention to employees who are taken sick and to treat
emergency cases.
SUMMARY OF FUNCTIONS.

I have skeletonized thus the direct functions of the employment
department by classifying them as first, selective (the function of
engaging employees), instruction (the function of developing their
efficiency for their particular tasks), welfare (the function of creat­
ing a favorable mental background for their work), and medical (the
function of protecting their physical health).



PROCEEDINGS OP EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

11

Industry is coming to recognize the need for such a department to
supervise its personnel, yet individual executives, even within the
concerns which are most farseeing, fail to appreciate the full need
for and opportunity of the employment department. For this rea­
son the employment department should occupy an unique position
in the business organization; the manager of the employment depart­
ment should be in touch with the supreme authority in the organiza­
tion, in order that the department policies may receive first-hand and
final corroboration in case it is needed. But because its value is not
as yet convincingly impressed upon the average department execu­
tives, whom it is intended to serve, such final support from the
powers that be should be invoked only when absolutely necessary.
In short, the employment department should win cooperation of the
executives with whom it works, not through arbitrary legislation
from above, but through actual service rendered to those executives.
To render such actual service to these executives the manager of the
employment department (and his assistants) should be capable of
seeing all sides of every question that arises; he should get the other
man’s point of view; he should get down to a basis of departmental
and personal friendliness with him and work out the solution to his
satisfaction. Interdepartmental antagonism must be done away
with. Personal dislike must be forgotten. When, by such a policy,
the employment department wins the esteem and friendship of the
operating departments, its position in the organization will be 10
times as strong as if it attempts to force recognition for itself through
edict from the general manager’s office.
So much for the organization of the employment department, its
place in the company, and its relations with the operating depart­
ments. What policies should it pursue?
LABOR TURNOVER.

Immediately there presents itself for consideration the problem o f
the labor turnover, a source of loss and inefficiency and industrial
hardship which business, until comparatively recently, has completely
overlooked. Labor turnover is, briefly, the proportion of the number
of employees engaged in a year to the total number of employees on
the pay roll. I f a concern has 500 persons on its pay roll and in a
certain year 500 persons must be engaged to maintain that pay roll
at 500, the labor turnover is 100 per cent; if it is necessary to engage
only 250 to maintain the pay roll, the labor turnover is 50' per cent.
The formula is complicated slightly if the size of the pay roll
increases or decreases during the year and again if the necessary
hirings are differentiated from the unnecessary hirings. But, broadly
speaking, turnover is the proportion of employees hired to the total
pay roll.



12

BULLETIN OF TH E BUBEATJ OF LABOR STATISTICS.

It is the direct duty of the employment department to reduce the
labor turnover by every means at its command. In fact, the efficiency
and value of the employment department can largely be gauged by
the trend in the turnover figures. In addition to the contributing
effect a high labor turnover has upon general industrial conditions,
which in turn react upon the company, there is a very immediate
significance in a high labor turnover which can be measured in
dollars and cents. The cost of hiring and firing an ordinary clerk
or workman is variously estimated in different concerns at from $25
to $200. This represents the cost of hiring, the cost of the breaking-in process, the cost of material wasted and spoiled, the disor­
ganizing effect upon the immediate department, and the cost of re­
duced output during the early days of the new employee’s service.
I f the average cost is $100 per employee, it requires no genius to
ascertain the cost per year to a concern with 1,000 employees which
has a labor turnover of 100 per cent.
METHODS OF REDUCTION.

What are the methods by which the employment department can
reduce the labor turnover? First, of course, by intelligent selection.
Second, by intelligent instruction work so that the employee will not
fail to make good through inadequate preparation for his tasks.
Third, by creating in him a satisfied spirit as far as welfare work,
properly conducted, can do it. Fourth, by developing the policy
throughout the organization of filling vacancies from within and
giving the employees the opportunity to advance to positions of
greater responsibility and compensation as fast as their ability war­
rants it. Fifth, by reducing as far as possible the number of arbi­
trary dismissals. Sixth, by working with the administrative officials
of the company to standardize the rate of production, either by
manufacturing for stock when possible instead of on order, or in re­
arranging the schedule of production in such a way that the aver­
age output (and consequently, the working force) will remain uni­
form. Seventh, by acting as a clearing house for labor between the
various operating departments, in order to prevent one department
from discharging help because of slack work, while another depart­
ment is adding to its force. In its capacity as clearing house, too,
the employment department can place elsewhere in the organization
employees who fail to make good where first assigned; there are
such things as square pegs and round holes, and many an employee
who fails miserably at one task may succeed markedly at another.
PERSONAL RELATIONS.

Now for another function of the employment department. The
strictly military form of organization is coming under the micro­



PROCEEDIN'GS OP EMPLOYMENT MANAGERS’ CONFERENCE.

13

scope and flaws are being discovered. Industry is coming to see that
the executive who says, “ do this,” to his subordinates, and who fails
to help them by advice and personal assistance is not as valuable as
the executive who regards it as his first duty to aid his workmen. The
executive is not to command, but to assist. And the business or­
ganization which is permeated with this spirit of cooperation be­
tween boss and worker is certain to possess a higher degree of human
efficiency than the business which is built along the old-time military
lines.
The employment department should aid and foster the develop­
ment of this spirit, both through the personal efforts of its manager
and his assistants and in the adoption of departmental policies which
work to that end.
CENTRALIZED DISCHARGE.

This touches closely the question of discharge. The fear of per­
emptory discharge is often the cause of vitiated efficiency on the part
of the employee. Fear and enthusiasm can not reside side by side in
the same individual’s mind. The theory of the old military system
is, too frequently, to fire a number of workers occasionally for the
avowed purpose of keeping the fear of God in the hearts of the
others; it fails entirely to take into consideration the fact that such a
policy, while doubtless compelling sullen obedience on the part of
the individual, lowers the efficiency of the force as a whole and in­
creases directly the labor turnover.
Ultimate discharge from the company should take place only
through the employment department, which should analyze the
reasons for discharge in each case and give the discharged employee
a chance to state his side of the case. Too often, under the military
system of organization, workers are discharged for some superficial
reason or through the whim of their superiors. Too frequently we
condemn, unheard. This tendency can be curbed and the problem
of the square pegs and round holes solved through the centralizing
of the function of discharge in the employment department. It
will doubtless prove illuminating in most companies to classify the
cases of discharged employees by causes and departments. Such
a comparative classification would be certain to have a wholesome
effect upon the minds of the executives who habitually discharge
without good reason, and tend to demonstrate that a large de­
partmental labor turnover reflects seriously upon their individual
abilities.
A SERVICE DEPARTMENT.

In closing, let me point out that by the very nature of its field the
employment department must be a service department. It is not an
operating department, but it should work hand and glove with the



14

BULLETIN OF TH E BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

operating departments, helping them in a genuinely sincere way to
increase their own efficiency through increasing the efficiency of their
employees. It should not seek credit for what it does, only results—
on which in the end it must stand or fall. The means should always
be sacrificed to the end; many of its achievements for the improve­
ment of the working force must be accomplished indirectly by
counsel and advice, and the credit, oftentimes, must go elsewhere. But
that, of course, is of minor significance. If, by its activity, either
direct or indirect, there results permanent economic advantage to
the company through the improvement of its human relationships,
the employment department will take its place in the organization as
one of the productive departments.




PROCEEDINGS OF EMPLOYMENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

15

METHODS OF REDUCING THE LABOR TURNOVER.
B Y BOYD FISH ER,

Vice president, Executives’ Club, Detroit Board of Commerce.

From October, 1912, to October, 1913, the Ford Motor Co. hired
54,000 men, to keep an average working force of 13,000. This was
over 400 per cent labor turnover. From October, 1913, to October,
1914, this company hired only 7,000, to keep an average of 17,000
men. Eliminating 4,000 from the comparison, because they were
taken on extra to increase the average force, the company really
hired only 3,000 men to keep 13,000. This was only 23 per cent
turnover. Of course, nine months of profit sharing was responsible
for the difference, but the fact only goes to show that the turnover
of labor can be reduced. The saving to the Ford Motor Co. must
have been at least $2,400,000, or a return of 24 per cent on the profitsharing bonus, which had been intended as an outright gift. The
saving was really much more than this, because the retention of a
steady labor force resulted in an increase in working efficiency esti­
mated by the company at 44 per cent.
The Ford Motor Co. is a special instance, and no other company
can be urged to give $10,000,000 to reduce its labor turnover. Others
can be urged, however, to seek other means of securing stable work­
ing forces. In this paper I shall state all of the means I know of to
accomplish this result. No expedient will be urged which is beyond
the resources of any going concern, and none will be recommended
which has not worked out successfully in conservative companies.
By means of some of the methods here set down, a large button
company in New York reduced its labor turnover 40 per cent, and
the Cleveland Foundry Co. reduced it from 240 per cent to 125 per
cent in a little over two years. I understand that the present turn­
over is much lower still.
The causes of the mobility of labor may be classified under three
headings:
A. Men are fired.
B. Men are laid off.
C. Men quit voluntarily.
I shall strip the subject of emotion and avoid literary embellish­
ment, treating the causes and the remedies for labor turnover in



16

BU LLETIN OP TH E BUREAU OP LABOR STATISTICS.

accordance with a rigid outline. The men for whom this paper is
intended need no analysis of the direct cost or indirect results of
ruthless hiring and firing. They merely want other men’s experience
in dealing with the problem.
The first cause of labor mobility is the ignorance on the part of
foremen, and even of pseudo-employment managers, of the great
cost of it. One so-called employment manager in Detroit boasted
last year of having so much work to do in his department that
he personally examined in a year over 300,000 applicants for
work. He didn’t know how many he had hired, but “ guessed that
it was a whole lot.” Obviously the man exaggerated, but the exag­
geration shows that he failed to see the scandal of the situation and
confirms the impression of great instability in his plant. I f anyone
desires a close analysis of the actual cost of such a policy, let him
read Magnus Alexander’s paper, “ Hiring and firing,” or W. A.
Grieves’s paper, “ Handling men.” The first paper may be had
from the General Electric Co., at West Lynn, and the second from
the Executives’ Club of Detroit. Mr. Alexander gives the cost as
high, in some cases, as $200 per man hired. Mr. Grieves places the
minimum at $40. Deere & Co. thinks that it costs $1,000 to break in
a new foreman; but that must mean “ barring accidents.”
Even where the cost is realized, however, usually no adequate
record is kept. Until Mr. Charles H. Winslow, now of the Society
for the Promotion of Industrial Education, brought his inspiration
to Detroit as an investigator for the United States Bureau of Labor
Statistics, I think that not more than two factories were keeping a
proper tabulation of employment statistics, and I hope that Mr.
Winslow does not challenge me to name the companies. He found,
of course, that most employment managers were keeping card rec­
ords from which tabulations could be made, but that they were so
busy hiring new men that they couldn’t get around to analyzing
past performances. When he persuaded them to dig into the old
records they were all shocked by the discoveries.
Ignorance of cost and extent of turnover may be set down as
fundamental or precedent causes. Assuming that these have been
removed we may then ask, Why are men fired?
In the first place, blame the shop foremen. It is easy to do this
and “ get away with it,” because of the great responsibilities laid
upon them already. Consider what most shops require of these men.
They set speeds and feeds and depth of cut, decide on the best
angles and shapes of tools, the best cooling agents, and the kind of
steel to use. They are expected to set piece rates, to plan to keep
all machines busy but not congested, to order work through the de­
partment in relative importance, keep down idle-equipment time,



PBOCEEDINGS OF EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS’ CONFEBENCE.

17

break in new men, adjust differences as to wages, keep up discipline,
keep down rejections, and act as stock chasers.1
I f they must do all of these things, and must, furthermore, hire
men, is it any wonder that they find it necessary to keep picking goats
upon whom to visit their own errors, or that from sheer weariness
and irritation they fire a man a minute? Most foremen have too
much to do, and, in order to square themselves, they try to get men
who need no managing. That is the chief cause of the turnover of
labor. And to date, they haven’t been sufficiently checked up by in­
telligent direction. I know of one superintendent who took a fore­
man to task for not firing more men, because it seemed to show a
lack of discipline.
A second reason for hasty, ill-warranted firing is to be found in
the fact that religious or national prejudice in a department, or in the
mind of the foreman himself, “ jobs” many a fairly good workman
out of his job.
But passing without elaboration this obvious cause, we must
admit that most men are fired with some justice in the excuse that
they are unfit. Harrington Emerson once said that of any 10 jobs
probably only 1 was filled by the man who ought to be in it, and
that of any 10 men probably only 1 was doing the work for which
he was fitted. Lack of knowledge while hiring, and lack of in­
sight after hiring, on the part of the representatives of the manage­
ment, are responsible for the improper assignment of men hired*
Those who examine applicants have no specifications for the me?
wanted and little skill in getting at the qualifications of those ex­
amined. Few plants yet have searching ability tests, supplemented
by physical examinations, to assist them in getting the right man in
the right place. Still fewer have any means of training the men,
once hired, into greater efficiency in their assigned tasks. These
causes account for the lack of fitness in men, and where these causes
exist foremen can not be blamed for rejecting, after a short try-out,
most of the material sent to them.
The foregoing causes account, I think, for all of the causes of out­
right discharge. There are two reasons, in addition, why good men
are laid off, usually permanently.
In the first place, unless the plant is scientifically managed, and
most plants are not, the scheduling of work through the shop is
faulty. Some departments, or at least some machines, will be con­
gested, while others will be idle. Through lack of proper informa­
tion foremen overstate their labor requirements, with the result that
they get through some operations ahead of schedule and some men
must be laid off; for, obviously, a Jones & Lamson screw-machine
1 See Installing Efficiency Methods, by Charles Edward Knoeppel, p. 13.
31856°— B u ll. 196— 16------ 2




18

BU LLETIN OF THE BUREAU OP LABOR STATISTICS.

hand, or a die maker, can’t be kept around the plant as an ornament,
and what foreman has the time to try to fit men to new specialties?
I f foremen have underestimated their labor requirements, the re­
sult will soon be the same. Extra men must be called in, only to be
discharged later on. Even though a good man will be needed next
■week he is laid off as soon as he is through, because foremen are ex­
pected to keep down direct labor cost. One Detroit employment
manager told me that his foremen were astonished when he analyzed
their labor requisitions, showing them how frequently they dis­
charged and then wildly besought men on high-priced operations.
O f course, lack of a centralized scheduling system was mainly re­
sponsible.
Men are laid off chiefly, however, because of the dull seasons that
affect every business. Even the Cleveland Foundry Co., which I
have cited for its good employment methods, is handicapped by from
20 to 40 per cent seasonal reductions annually, and the stove com­
panies of Detroit frequently dose down altogether for periods which
let many men get away. Mr. Winslow has some good analyses of
seasonal fluctuations in several industries and cities. We shall return
to this topic presently.
It now remains only to brief the reasons why men leave their jobs
voluntarily. Low wages and long hours account for many cases.
Inequalities in the pay system, however, account for more, because
men can more easily perceive an?injustice in pay in their own depart­
ments than as compared with the pay of men in other plants.
Straight day wages or poorly set piece and bonus rates are responsi­
ble for many rankling injustices.
The worst injustice of all is the failure to reward men for increased
efficiency over their previous ability. One employment manager dis­
covered a workman who had been on the same rate of pay for five
years. He is now seeing to it that men in his company are period­
ically advanced or promoted in accordance with their efficiency
records, regardless of whether they ask for increases in basic rates
or not.
Men quit, too, because foremen or fellow workmen of different
races or religious “ gang ” them, and, unless the management inquires
into the reasons for men’s leaving, this cause can never be run down.
I tremble to think of how many good men have been run out of plants
because of differences over the present war in Europe.
Workmen, too, are often ignorant, narrow, highly sensitive to
trivial wrongs or fancied oppression by “ capital.” Many nurse
grievances until they goad themselves into committing “ job suicide.”
The lack of any well understood means of redressing wrongs, or even
of hearing them, is a very large influence in voluntary quitting.



PROCEEDINGS OF EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS ’ CONFERENCE.

19

O f course, the wrongs may be very real, and in themselves they
may be cited as a cause. For instance, bad plant conditions, such as
poor lighting and ventilation, insanitary toilets and work places,
lack of proper lunch-room or street-car facilities, all have their
effects upon the turnover of labor. Insanitary toilets alone were
given as .the reason for a recent strike ; and many workmen will quit
their jobs in preference to going blind at an ill-lighted machine.
The above completes the list of causes of turnover under the three
headings of discharges, lay offs, and resignations. The remedies
urged will reach all of these conditions, but it is not feasible to deal
with a specific remedy for each separate cause but, rather, to group
them under the following main headings:
A. A central employment department.
B. Physical examinations.
C. Industrial education.
D. Regularized production.
E. Square-deal management.
To cut down the turnover a centralized employment department,
managed by a man with gumption, is the prime necessity. Unless this
can be arranged, none of the specific remedies can be attempted. It
is almost begging the question to say that the employment manager
must have gumption. He should really have the vision of a prime
minister and the resource of a member of the general army staff
in war time; but as things stand we can afford to compromise on
gumption.
Given a central employment department, with some one to stand
at the window so that the employment manager can at least occa­
sionally visit the plant for whicli he is hiring men, we may hopefully
confide to it the specific remedies for the turnover of labor.
First of these is a set of written specifications in accordance with
which men are to be hired. E. G. Allen, o f Cass Technical High
School, Detroit, is the first man to have classified and printed the
minimum standards of knowledge required to operate the different
classes of machines. Beyond that there should be written specifica­
tions for each operation, with a short description of each. Mr.
iWinslow, in carrying out the Richmond survey, wrote up such speci­
fications for the printing, machine, tobacco, and other trades. The
Republic Metal Ware Co., in Buffalo, has such a book of specifica­
tions. The German-American Button Co., in Rochester, is among
other companies which have them. Nearly every member o f the
Executives’ Club Employment Managers’ Association of Detroit
is making up such specifications. The purpose of sudh data is pretty
obvious. The employment manager can not be expected to know




20

BU LLETIN OF TH E BTTBEAtT OP LABOR STATISTICS.

every operation for which he hires, and, with such material in hand,
-he can more intelligently question applicants. Increased rejections
at the employment gate reduce the number o f discharges at the
pay window.
With the wisest selection of men in the world some firing will be
necessary, and the employment department should next prepare so
to record and tabulate turnover that justifiable causes may be sifted
out from the unjustifiable. It is idle merely to keep card records of
each man’s work history. I f the data is not periodically taken off the
cards and analyzed it is a useless expense to record it. The record
of mm leaving should be tabulated so that it shows up comparably
(a) by weeks and months, (6) by departments responsible, and
(<?) by causes assigned. A wall chart, designed to show these figures,
such as the Saxon Motor Co., of Detroit, has designed, will be of
great assistance in localizing the blame for exceptional turnover. The
analysis can, with great profit, be further extended by classifying
the number of skilled, semiskilled, and unskilled men leaving the
plant every week. The analysis by departments will help show this.
Even if foremen have not the authority to fire men, they do have
the power to make them quit voluntarily, and a detailed analysis
will show what foremen have the most trouble with their men, and
why.
It may be given as a separate remedy that foremen should no more
have authority to fire than to hire. The manifold responsibilities of
foremen already listed in this paper manifestly unfits them to be
fair judges of the amount and kind of discipline required, or to
inquire how inefficient men may be trained or fitted into new tasks.
Foremen should, therefore, have authority only to recommend for
discharge, or to demand transfers of unsatisfactory employees. At
the Ford Motor Co., the Packard Motor Car Co., and Dodge Bros.,
the foremen can go no further than this, and it is rapidly becoming
true of all Detroit companies.
A great assistance to employment managers who are asked by
foremen to discharge employees will be found in a monthly or other
periodic certification by foremen of the character of work performed
by each employee in their departments. Later, if one asks to have a
man laid off, and the employment manager can show the foreman’s
own signature to a certificate of the man’s satisfactory work, it
greatly strengthens the employment supervisor’s hand when he de­
cides to retain the man.
Where the localization of the discharge power in one department
helps particularly is in the case where faulty scheduling would
throw out good men for lack of further work. Foremen would not
compare notes; they would simply fire. The employment manager,



PROCEEDIN'GS OP EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

21

however, can look over the day’s requisitions for labor, and send the
superfluous worker to some other department.
A further advantage of a central employment department is found
in the ability under proper management of that office to keep a record
o f the individual efficiency of workmen, of lates and absences, and
of other matters which are involved in turnover. Low efficiencies
can be tabulated and plant teachers can help to bring unsatisfactory
workers up to the mark before the foreman would spot them for
discharge. Usually the cause will be found to be some grievance or
other condition which, if not detected through an efficiency record,
would not be discovered until too late to prevent an employee’s
leaving.
Finally, no employee should be allowed to quit the plant until he
has disclosed his reason for being dissatisfied. Companies in Detroit
which have this rule make it effective by requiring the employment
manager’s signature before the employee may be paid off. I f the
office knows why men leave it may not be able to persuade them to
stay, but it can prevent the next one’s going.
So much for the central employment office. We might very well
group the other three classes of remedies under this heading, because
the employment manager properly has his part in putting them into
effect, but they can be undertaken without his assistance.
Physical examinations have two effects in reducing turnover. In
the first place, it rejects the weak, the ruptured, and the sufferers from
defective sight and hearing who would later need to be discharged as
unfit. Again, by indicating the character of work which can be safely
performed by the partly defective applicants, it fits them into the jobs
in which they can make good. Thus, there will be fewer voluntary
quittings by virtue o f the work being “ too hard.” I could cite
examples to prove the value of these considerations, but they really
prove themselves in the statement. The Cleveland Foundry Co. finds
it profitable to pay a high salary to a competent physician for full
time and give him three months’ leave for hospital practice, to keep
him from going stale. The workmen’s compensation law is having
its influence, in addition to the above two arguments, in bringing most
Detroit factories to the idea o f physical examinations.
Industrial education, although it is even more important than any
of the foregoing methods of reducing turnover, may nevertheless be
treated briefly. Every argument that can be cited in favor of indus­
trial training is an argument for the reduction of the turnover of
labor, because the object is, of course, to fit men for their jobs so
thoroughly that they will gladly stay in them.
Education helps reassign men to the work for which they are best
fitted. Education is examination. It discloses to the pupil as well
as to the teacher wherein lies his special aptitude. The great evil of



22

BULLETIN OP THE BUBEAU OP LABOR STATISTICS.

faulty assignment referred to by Harrington Emerson will be largely
overcome by systematic instruction in tasks and in operations.
It will, furthermore, make the inefficient men fit. The TimkenDetroit Axle Co. has actually had poor mechanics develop into highgrade foremen or master mechanics through the part-time continua­
tion work of Cass Technical High School. Many times Detroit fac­
tories have saved men slated for discharge by encouraging nightschool or continuation-school attendance.
Industrial training, particularly through shop schools, such as the
excellent ones maintained by the Cadillac Motor Car Co., Packard
Motor Car Co., Dodge Bros., and Northway Motor & Manufacturing
Co., in Detroit, and Brown & Sharp, in Providence, will train men
already in the plant for new openings, thus avoiding the necessity of
hiring new, outside men for them. It is valuable to fill up the gaps
from men already familiar with the style and product of the given
plant. The Employment Managers’ Association of Detroit has
reached the deliberate conclusion that in times of industrial expan­
sion it is useless to try to hire men away from other companies; that
they must rely upon their own shop courses for instruction in partic­
ular operations and upon the public technical schools for instruction
in the fundamentals of shop mechanics. Any other recourse will
amply load up the pay rolls with incompetents who will live through
their little hour of discord and destruction in the plant, only to be
discharged as unfit.
The fundamental remedies for turnover are quite beyond the
authority of the employment manager. This is true of industrial
education. It is more acutely true of the regularization of produc­
tion. Only the general manager and the board of directors can
undertake to stabilize the labor force by governing production
throughout the year. And even where they see the value of this they
must discover a solution which is individual, not only for each in­
dustry but even for each plant. On this account it is worth while
only to enumerate some of the solutions that others have hit upon.
The Ford Motor Co. standardizes its product to such an extent
that if you have to buy a Ford car you might as well do it, as you
go to the dentist, whenever you get up the courage. The Fords
you have with you always, and they never look any different. The
Paige-Detroit and the Studebaker companies bring out models at
irregular seasons, instead of bunching their business around the
time of the auto shows.
The Joseph & Feiss Co., garment manufacturers of Cleveland,
and the H. H. Franklin Co., of Syracuse, underproduce their de­
mands in the busiest season. It takes intelligence plus courage to
do that, and yet the economies of plant and labor force are demon*



PROCEEDINGS OP EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS’ CONFERENCE.

23

strable. Furthermore, the Joseph & Feiss Co. leaves off its ad­
vertising campaign in the busiest season and the H. H. Franklin Co.
pays a higher sales bonus in the dull season.
Some companies fill out production in the dull season by stocking
up on staple lines or standard, low-cost parts. A large button man­
ufacturing company, after scientific study of its sales, so managed
this stocking-up process on best-selling lines that for 13 years it
never discharged ah employee for lack o f work. For 13 years a
button manufacturer, dependent upon the most seasonal of busi­
nesses, the clothing trade, never discharged an employee for lack
of work. It is worthy of additional mention that this company
thinks it economical sometimes to sell slightly below cost, in order
to keep its constant labor force.
It is the Franklin Co. again, under the brilliant management of
George D. Babcock, which manages to keep its seasonal fluctuation
within 30 per cent by manufacturing during dull seasons those
parts of its motor car which are standard or cheap enough to pro­
vide continual employment without tying up excessive amounts of
capital.
With the best of management, of course, some lay offs may come
through bad business. Even then, it is possible to mitigate the
effect by lending money to permanent employees laid off for pro­
longed periods. The Detroit stove companies do this regularly,
and when, a year ago, 82,000 men were out of work at one time in
Detroit the manufacturers organized a huge relief bureau, as part of
the board of commerce, which kept a thousand families on charity,
got 3,000 men permanent jobs and several thousand more temporary
jobs, placed 15,000 more back to work sooner than usual, and per­
suaded the factories to retain many thousands more on part time.
This care, I think, was what enabled Detroit to react most promptly
to the sudden turn of business last spring and proved to be the under­
lying basis of Detroit’s present amazing prosperity.
The remedies for labor turnovers, which we may classify under
square-deal policies, that prevent men’s leaving are too numerous to
be taken up in this paper. They have to do with higher wages,
shorter hours, discriminating systems of recording and pay, and
improved plant conditions. There is no last word in the effort to
better the conditions of the workers. A plant must simply keep up
with the procession. Any plant can do that much, and it is my own
conviction that scientific management enables plants which employ
it to keep ahead of the parade. It would be unwise to urge the re­
finements of welfare management without expounding the methods
by which employers can make the profit to undertake them. That,
of course, would take us out of the legitimate range of this paper.



24

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

But as Miss Ida Tarbell said in an address to the board of com­
merce, “ You can not stand permanently in the way of legitimate
human aspirations.”
It is not only profitable for employers to yield to the legitimate
human aspirations, but it is perhaps even a duty for them to lead
men to aspire. Mi*. Henry Ford has done that, and where is the
employer this side of the Styx whose conscience has not been quick­
ened by Mr. Ford’s example?




PROCEEDINGS OF EMPLOYMENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

25

PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT BUREAUS AND THEIR RELATION TO
MANAGERS OP EMPLOYMENT IN INDUSTRY.
BY H ILDA MTTHLHAUSER,

Director of the Girla’ an4 Women’s Bureau, Cleveland, Ohio.

For many years, indeed since 1892, public employment bureaus
have sprung into existence to provide a clearing house for the em­
ployer and the unemployed—a labor market where the employer
could make known his demands and the seekers after work could
make known their abilities. As time goes on the public employ­
ment bureaus have come to serve almost entirely the common labor
market, so that the American public to-day looks upon these bureaus
as clearing houses, not for all the laboring classes, but for that portion
whose work is entirely of a physical nature. Gradually, however,
the standard once set by the public employment bureaus is being
raised, even as these bureaus are ceasing to be located in basements
and are being placed on the ground floor, so are they now compelling
the industrial world to realize that they stand on the ground
floor in this modem cycle of industrial unrest and overwhelming
unemployment. O f the public employment bureaus in America (not
including private employment bureaus) only one, to my knowledge,
has undertaken the tremendous task o f raising the entire standard
of public employment bureaus so as to meet the need of the managers
of employment in industry. I refer to the Cleveland office, which not
only is a center for the laborer and the employer demanding skilled
and unskilled labor, but it is also a magnet that draws to it the col­
lege graduate, the specialized men and women who never before
dreamed of using a public employment office. A vocational guid­
ance department, a recreation, and also an immigration department
mark this Cleveland office as unique among the public employment
bureaus in the country, and the Cleveland idea is but a beginning
in the vast plan that shall eventually make the public employment
bureau the great tool at the command of the managers of employ­
ment in industry.
The Cleveland plan, briefly stated, is this:
First to centralize the labor market by taking over all the employ­
ment departments of separate organizations, such as the Young
Women’s Christian Association, the settlements, and institutions.
Included in this group of independent organizations was the Voca­
tional Guidance Bureau, the forerunner of the present Girls’ and




26

BU LLETIN OP TH E BUREAU OP LABOS STATISTICS.

Women’s Bureau, which as a private organization was maintained by
private funds. The bureau consolidated with the women’s depart­
ment of the State-City Labor Exchange and the private employment
bureaus I have mentioned. As a result of this combination the Girls’
and Women’s Bureau of Cleveland began to carry on its centralized
work in a vital and effective way. Financial support was secured
from both the State of Ohio and the city of Cleveland. In spite of
the fact that both their budgets were reduced to comply with their
platform of economy, the State and city granted initial funds this
year to carry on our work The bureau, therefore, is financed by
city, State, and private funds.
After an investigation of private employment agencies was made,
we found that many of these agencies were not only misrepresenting
the positions they offered, but were actually sending girls to houses
of ill repute. Although the private agencies fought it through the
courts, a city ordinance was adopted on February 15,1915, regulating
private employment agencies. Thirteen of the 35 agencies failed to
comply with the regulations of this ordinance and went out o f
business.
Our next step was to centralize community interest, to secure the
cooperation of employers, labor organizations, and interested indi­
viduals. In order that our bureau obtain as broad a view of condi­
tions as possible our advisory board, which met monthly, was com­
posed of representatives of labor and capital and local organizations,
such as social settlements and the chamber of commerce, the retail
merchants’ board, and the Federation o f Labor. The vital problems
involved in the placing of girls and women were discussed, and many
ideas of immediate practical value often had their birth at these meet­
ings. For instance, at the time of the garment strike we decided that
our position as a public employment bureau was not to side with
either the manufacturers or the strikers, but to avoid sending girls to
those factories involved without first telling them the exact condi­
tions prevailing. Our fair attitude on this question won for us the
approval of both sides.
It was always our policy to investigate employers’ calls, and our
survey of Cleveland industries, carefully and thoroughly made, en­
abled us to do intelligent placing. We secured all information con­
cerning hours, wages, sanitary conditions, busy seasons, and oppor­
tunities for advancement. We faithfully live up to our slogan:
“ Never send a girl to an uninvestigated place.” Thus, through per­
sonal investigation, we are able to save the girl from the possibility
of exploitation.
Not only do we investigate employers but also all applicants for
work. Our corps of investigators includes a group of 25 trained
workers, many of whom volunteer their services. We secured the
industrial and home record of all girls. We went even further, and




PROCEEDINGS OF EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS ? CONFERENCE.

27

secured the cooperation of school-teachers, who sent to us those chil­
dren who intended to leave school. Our vocational guidance depart­
ment often prevailed upon these young folks to stay in school, and, in
many instances, when financial stress prevented them from continuing
their education, we provided scholarships through a fund established
by the Federation of Women’s Clubs.
Our follow-up work, finding out what becomes of those applicants
we place, is continuously done for one year after they enter industry.
The result of our complete records was an understanding of each
applicant, which, while obtainable by employers, was absolutely
invaluable to them. For instance, if an employment manager, for
some economic reason or as a matter of preference, wished to secure
girls who were living at home, there was no avenue through which
he could obtain such girls other than our bureau. Thus, progressive
employment managers came to realize that one way of reducing the
labor turnover of girls and women was by having a personal interest
in them as well as by securing in return the vital, active interest of
the employee in her work. To this end the employers found the
Girls’ and Women’s Bureau an essential factor for the efficiency of
their own business, and in one month 17,000 calls for girls and
women were received. In time, perhaps, all employment managers
will come to realize the value of using public employment bureaus.
Think of the time wasted by employment managers in interviewing
the applicants, many altogether unqualified, who flock in large num­
bers in response to newspaper advertisements or help-wanted bulle- ’
tins. Consider, too, from an economic standpoint, the saving it
would be to employers to forego the large item of expense involved
in advertising by utilizing a bureau such as ours, conducted in a
fair and intelligent manner.
Why is it necessary thus to build and create ideal public employ­
ment bureau; why is it important in this modem day of advertising,
with all the many avenues for reaching and securing labor; why
should the public employment bureaus be the central exchange where
labor and capital.shall meet and bargain? First o f all, because the
public employment bureau commands the confidence of the working
man and woman, which the private bureau and in most cases the em­
ployment managers themselves have failed to gain. Just as a mother
trustingly sends her child to public school because she has faith in the
State; just as men send Representatives to Congress, having faith in
the Nation, so does labor send her children of modern industry trust­
ingly to the public employment bureau, knowing they have but to
knock and they will be admitted to the house of opportunity.
Secondly, because that great economic waste, which every year in
normal times constitutes over 3,000,000 able-bodied men out of work
at least three months of the year, can at least partially be stopped



28

BULLETIN OP THE BUEEAU OP LABOR STATISTICS.

by the joint efforts of all the public employment bureaus. At the
first conference on employment, held in San Francisco, August 2,
called by Hon. W. B. Wilson, Secretary of Labor, the nucleus of
a plan was drawn whereby all city, State, and Federal bureaus, all
public employment bureaus, shall be linked together in one unending
chain of opportunity for the unemployed. A committee of 12 was
appointed, representing the city, State, and Federal groups, which
shall work out plans in detail for carrying out this great nation-wide
idea, the central thought being to bring the man and the job to­
gether, not only in one State but in every State; to bring the supply
of labor to that place where there is a demand; to transfer the over­
supply of labor to those localities where it can be utilized.
With such concentrated and widespread effort as this city-StateFederal plan involves, the managers must realize that the public
employment bureaus are a force and power in the labor market of
the country, and, knowing this, can not afford to ignore them in the
vast employment departments in industry. Everyone is crying out
in protest against the wasteful labor turnover, and you employers
and managers here to-day are seeking some solution to this drag on
the wheels of modern industry.
I firmly believe, and others who have given the matter a great deal
of thought agree with me, that if the managers of employment in
industry and the leaders of city, State, and Federal employment
bureaus would get together, the cylinder through which this waste
flows unstemmed would have a bottom and a top to check the shift­
ing labor conditions. The public employment bureaus being the bot­
tom, would stop the leakage caused by the inability of the employee
to find the place for which he is best fitted. The employment man­
agers would be the top, conserving the best ability which he has
thus secured, so as to keep it from flowing out only to be turned
over and over.
True it is that seasonal occupations are a factor in contributing
to the cause of unemployment. But if we would give the question
our best thought, even this great obstacle might be partially re­
moved.
I f a man picks cotton in the southern cotton fields for a short
season only, why not send him, when that work is completed, to the
place where he can do other work of a similar nature. And if 5,000
miners are out of work in Pennsylvania, due to lack of mining there,
why not send them to Ohio or West Virginia where there is a de­
mand. The United States Secretary of Labor hopes to have a bill
put through Congress, making it possible for the railroads to grant
reduced rates to such men and also to women who are leaving one
place to find work in another, under city, State, or Federal guidance.
This will be a great common denominator in the labor equation.



PROCEEDINGS OP EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS ’ CONFERENCE.

29

The employment managers in industry should utilize this vital
force and cooperate in carrying out this plan. O f course there may
be danger places; the question of unions and other organizations will
arise, but only by the combined efforts of employment managers,
railroad magnates, labor unions, and city, State, and Federal em­
ployment bureaus can any scheme for the distribution of labor be
successful. Just as a small employment bureau, if it be successful,
invites the cooperation of all elements concerned or affected, so must
this larger plan of distribution, when launched, be manned by a
crew of sturdy thinkers and workers on the wild, tossing sea of in­
dustrial competition and labor unrest.
The managers of employment in industry can not possibly solve
the question alone; the Government can not solve it alone; the laborer
can not solve it alone; capital can not solve it alone, even with com­
merce and opportunity by its side; but the molding together of all
these elements in the great melting pot of cooperation, stirred by the
master, resource, shall in the end produce the well-balanced figures
of labor and capital hand in hand, with their child, satisfaction,
peacefully following after them.




30

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

UNIVERSITY SCHOOLS OF BUSINESS AND THE TRAINING OF
EMPLOYMENT EXECUTIVES.
B Y HARLOW S. PERSON,

..Director, Amos Tuclt School of Administration and Finance, Dartmouth College.
It should be clearly understood that what I have to submit for
your consideration can not, in the nature of the case, be a descrip­
tion of what has been accomplished in university schools of business
administration for the training of employment executives. Courses
designed specifically as training for the employment executive func­
tion are being conducted for the first time during the present aca­
demic year. There is no experience behind us. The most we can do
at the present moment is to consider what form we believe such
training should take, as a result of our knowledge of the functions
of the employment executive, and of the qualifications necessary for
the performance of such functions.
The expression, “ University schools of business and the training
of employment executives” involves three elements, each of which
should be clearly understood as a condition precedent to fruitful dis­
cussion. Of the concept“ university schools of business ” we have a
common understanding and no definition is necessary. The word
“ training ” and the words “ employment executives,” however, may
not mean the same thing to all of us. Some understand training
with respect to a given objective to consist merely of imparting in
the classroom information concerning that objective. By training I
mean the whole complex of educational processes, those in the class­
room and those outside the classroom, but more or less under the con­
trol of educational authorities, whose purpose is, in addition to the
imparting of information, the wise selection of those who shall be
trained for the specific purpose; the development of natural tem­
peramental and other personal characteristics; the development of
capacity for independent investigation and thinking, for forming
sound judgments, and for constructive imagination; and the de­
velopment of a capacity for prompt adaptation to the environment in
which is to be performed the service for which the training is de­
signed. Training for the employment executive function is there­
fore something larger than the imparting of information concern­
ing the work of the employment manager. Likewise with respect to
the term “ employment executive.” There are employment managers
and employment managers. At one end of the line we find the



PROCEEDINGS OF EMPLOYMENT MANAGERS’ CONFERENCE.

31

subordinate clerk who merely hires and fires; at the other end of
the line we find the employment manager who is coordinate in rank
and authority with the works, the sales, and the financial managers;
who is responsible for all administrative and executive work pertain­
ing to the personnel; whose relations.are with workpeople as human
beings rather than as a commodity; who is representative of the
workpeople to the management, and of the management to the work­
people; who is the man of superior insight into the future of in­
dustrial human relations,.and the leader and teacher who raises both
parties to the industrial contract to higher conceptions of their
mutual rights and obligations. It is the training of employment
executives of this latter type that I propose to discuss.
The functions of an executive position determine the qualifications
which may be demanded of him who is to fill it, and these qualifica­
tions determine the nature of the training for that position. There­
fore our first inquiry is concerning the functions of the highest type
of employment executive; our second inquiry is concerning the
qualifications demanded by those functions; and our third inquiry
is concerning the training necessary to develop those qualifications.
FUNCTIONS OF THE EMPLOYMENT EXECUTIVES.

The functions of the highest type of employment executive have a
wide range, from the interviewing of an applicant to administrative
decisions involving the largest social problems. For our purpose I
classify them as follows:
1. Those functions pertaining directly to the technical productive
efficiency of the individual employee. Illustrative of these are:
The selection of the right kind of employee for any of the classified
“ jobs ” of the business; the analysis and classification of the “ jobs ”
making up the business; the training of employees within the plant
or in cooperation with educational institutions; the establishment of
records, involving the determination of what they shall contain; the
routing or transfer or interchange of employees; the discipline of
employees; the determination and maintenance of proper working
conditions; the establishment of wage rates which create “ incentive,”
etc. The performance of these functions is accomplished, in some
instances, through personal contact of the employment executive with
the individual employee, but on the whole through an organized
machinery of minor executives, and there is involved, therefore, the
function of organizing and operating such machinery.
2. Those functions pertaining indirectly to the productive efficiency
of the individual employee or pertaining to the rights of the em­
ployee as an economic, even though not a legal, partner in the busi­
ness. Illustrative of these are: Consultations—made possible by con­
fidence, and on the initiative of the employee—concerning the per­



32

BULLETIN OP TH E BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

sonal problems of the employee; the maintenance of hospitals, nurses,
physicians, dentists, etc.; the maintenance of lunch rooms, rest rooms,
recreation grounds and equipment, etc.; inspiration and assistance
in the organization of an employees’ cooperative association for
various mutual benefit activities, such as the establishment of a
cooperative store, a cooperative bank, etc. The performance of these
functions is accomplished, in some instances, through personal con­
tact with the individual, but usually through contact with officers
and committees of the employees’ organizations.
3. Those functions pertaining to the largest administrative poli­
cies and problems of the business. The best type of employment
executive is of as high rank as the works, sales, and financial execu­
tives, has as complete and independent access to the office of the
president, and has as fully his confidence with regard to problems of
the relation between the management and the personnel as they have
with regard to the problems pertinent to their respective functions.
I f there is an executive board made up of the various functional
managers, he is the peer of any man on that board. On that board
he sits in a dual capacity: He represents on the one hand the desires
and the rights of the working force, and on the other hand the de­
sires and the rights of the management. He is harmonizer and
adjuster. He is the specialist who studies the problems of industrial
democracy, organized labor, collective bargaining, employees’ con­
sent, and so on, and reports his investigations and conclusions, with
recommendations, to that board. The performance of these functions
brings him into contact with leaders of the working people, with
students of social affairs, and with the highest executives in the
management.
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE EMPLOYMENT EXECUTIVE.

The necessary qualifications of this high but perfectly practicable
type of employment executive are determined by the functions which
I have enumerated. The functions are wide in range, and the abili­
ties necessary for their successful performance are equally so. The
big employment manager must be able on the one hand to meet on
equal terms of understanding and sympathy the humblest working
boy or girl; he must be able, on the other hand, by weight of knowl­
edge, of logic, and of personal force, to convince the hard-headed
manager or president of the desirability of fundamental and some­
times radical changes in administrative policy. The evolution of
the business conscience lags behind that of the social conscience,
especially with respect to the human problem, and now and then
nothing short of radical change in the business conscience is able to
bring it into alignment with the social conscience. I suggest the fol­



PROCEEDINGS OB' EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS, CONFERENCE.

33

lowing classification of the essential qualifications of the employment
executive who is strong in every phase of his work.
1.Personality.— He must be courteous and even tempered, and
never “ grouchy” ; he must be sympathetic with the circumstances
and ideas and prejudices of the working people; he must never depart
from fairness and justice; he must be intuitive, for he must sense
facts which are not told to him; he must be able to read human nature
and judge character; he must be quick and sure in his decisions; he
must be firm, of the motor type, for he is an executive, and out of
motor characteristics arises executive energy.
£. Mental characteristics.—He must be able to search for and
ascertain facts pertaining to his problems, give them proper relative
valuation, and make sound conclusions. For years he will be pioneer
in a field which has been but little investigated and the principles of
which have not been formulated. He must be able, with respect to
one problem, to pursue the methods of the inductive scientist and,
with respect to the next problem, those of the scientist who reasons
deductively. He must have a capacity for the analysis and subse­
quent classification of facts, for in such capacity does organizing
ability have its roots. And to perform his highest functions, he must
have constructive imagination, be an independent and original source
of ideas, see things which are desirable and possible in the light of
present tendencies, but in proof of which all the necessary data are
not yet available. It is possession of constructive imagination which
makes the great administrator.
3. Information and experience, and a knowledge of pertinent facts
derived from contact with people and situations and records.—As an
employer of working people he must be informed concerning the
sources of supply; the various types o f public and private educa­
tional institutions—general and specialized, vocational guidance
agencies, employment agencies, and the degree of efficiency with
which each accomplishes its aims. As the organizer of a training
school within his plant, he must have judgment based on a knowledge
of facts concerning educational policies and methods, and concern­
ing instruction in specific subjects. In his contact with working
people, foremen, superintendents, and higher executives, he must
have possession of that mass of facts which we sum up in the expres­
sion “ a knowledge of human nature.” He must be informed in the
science of psychology and concerning the possibilities of, and limi­
tations to, the utilization of the psychological laboratory in selecting
and classifying employees. To enable him to analyze into their ele­
ments the processes of his business and to classify them into welldefined “ jobs,” he must have an accurate knowledge of the details
of the technical processes of his business. As an organizer of men
31856°—Bull. 196—16----- 3



84

BULLETIN OP TH E BUBEAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

and equipment he must be well informed concerning the principles
of efficient organization and management. As an administrator,
inspiring the highest executive officers toward a wise policy of human
relationships, he must be master of the history of the facts and ideas
of industrial relationships.
These abilities, demanded of the best type of employment execu­
tive—abilities of personality, intellect, and knowledge, present a
combination which is extraordinary. I may be accused of picturing
an ideal employment executive. That I admit, for the educator who
aspires to train a young man to be anything less is unworthy of his
responsibilities. I may be accused of picturing an impossible para­
gon. That I deny. I will admit that the employment managers
whom I know to be strong in all or nearly all of these qualities can
be counted on less than the fingers of one hand, but I know many
executives who possess part of these qualifications to the highest de­
gree, and each is possessed to the highest degree somewhere by
someone. This analysis of functions and qualifications did not
originate at my desk. At my desk I have simply classified the aggre­
gate of functions and qualifications I have seen in many places.
Training for the employment executive function should aim to de­
velop each student with respect to each of these qualifications to the
highest degree possible, in accordance with his capacity for develop­
ment. Considering the various degrees of each of these qualifications
which men may possess, their permutations and combinations are
infinite, and consequently we shall develop in experience an infinite
variety of executives. The greatest employment managers will be
those who possess all of these abilities, each of the highest degree.
Such men can be attracted into executive work of this kind if
directors and presidents will value the function highly enough, and
will offer the necessary attracting force of rank and remuneration.
It is men o f this highest type that education should prepare to
train. Not all of those they train will achieve the highest rank, for
there are human limitations to the selection of men for training,
and there are unforeseen varieties of reaction of men for training.
But some employment executives of genius and many of great talent
can be produced, and a high general average of quality of product
can be maintained.
THE TRAINING.

It is perfectly obvious that, considering the type of employment
executive we aspire to develop, the machinery of training can not
consist merely of one or two courses of three hours each for one
semester, entitled “ The functions of employment management” or
“ The problems of employment management.” The machinery of
training must consist of the entire educational machinery, supple­



PROCEEDINGS OP EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS’ CONFERENCE.

35

mented by such educational assistance as can be afforded by business
firms, employment executives’ associations, and vocation bureaus. We
must conceive of training as afforded, not by one or two specialized
courses, but by the aggregate of courses and processes of an integrated
educational industry. The one or two specialized courses serve merely
to give the final bit of specialized information, to coordinate and
relate to the objective the larger amount of information acquired in
other courses and in experience, and to effect a final comprehension of
the specific problems of the employment management function. The
instructor in these specialized courses is like the assembler in the
typewriter or cash-register plant who brings together into a whole,
suitable for a particular service, numerous parts which have been
through many preparatory, selective, and fashioning processes. Be­
hind the assembling of the parts of the cash register is the stamping,
the turning, the casting of parts; behind that the selection of the raw
stock and the specifications of the metallurgist; behind that the work
of the bessemer or open-hearth or crucible plant; behind that the
blast furnace and the selection of magnetite or hematite ores, or a
scientifically determined mixture of both; and, interwoven through­
out the entire series of processes, the analysis of the metallurgist, the
rejection of defective and the selection of suitable materials. Like­
wise with respect to the machinery for training the best type of spe­
cialized executive; back of the one or two specialized professional
courses is a series of selecting, preparing, and conditioning courses
and experiences. The specialized employment-management courses—
finishing processes—should have a definite relation to the entire pre­
ceding series of educational processes.
Let us turn for a moment to the classification of requirements for
successful employment managership.
1. Personal characteristics.—These are inborn, not made by educa­
tional processes. An educational process may discover for an indi­
vidual that which he has but does not know he has, or it may take
that which he has and give it opportunity for exercise and develop­
ment. But it can not make a motor temperament of a sensory
temperament, and vice versa. Therefore our system of training must
involve at an early stage and at later stages mechanism for selecting
and rejecting, or at least labeling, candidates for the training. This
selecting or guidance mechanism must be located, part at the educa­
tional institution, part at a highly developed vocational guidance
bureau, and part at a cooperating business plant. An essential part
of the system of training is the analysis and selection of material
possessing the right temperamental characteristics.
% Mental characteristics.—The development of abilities to observe,
.
to relate and value facts, to analyze and to classify, to think logically
and to form sound judgments is the particular objective of the edu­



36

BULLETIN OP TH E BUREAU OP LABOR STATISTICS.

cational processes. These abilities are, however, the result of a
gradual building-up process. It takes time. It is determined by the
nature of the human mind, and is as deliberate as the growth of a
tree. Therefore, with respect to the development of these abilities
in our selected material, we must not think in terms of one year, or
one course, or one stratum of our educational system. These abilities
in our material are developed throughout the primary school, the
secondary school, and the college, by influence in the classroom and
without the classroom, cumulative in their effect with respect to
mental development. They are developed by discipline in a great
variety of subjects. Furthermore, while the educational system is
our great instrument for developing these mental abilities, we should
not fail to realize that supplementary business experience can offer
much in support of the processes of the school and college, and we
should enlist business firms in our work.
3. Information.—Those parts of the system of training necessary
to give .the prospective employment executive the necessary equip­
ment of information are four:
(a) The series of educational processes of the primary school, the
secondary school, and the college, cumulative in their effect with
respect to the imparting of information. I am not thinking merely
of the three It’s and similar fundamental information, but of the
more complex information acquired in the study of such subjects as
history, political science, sociology, theoretical and applied economics,
philosophy and psychology. All such information becomes of prac­
tical use, in forming judgments, to the employment executive as I
have defined his functions.
(b) A group of specialized courses in business administration, of a
general nature, concerned with all phases and functions of business,
and not specialized with respect to the employment executive func­
tion. The employment executive does not perform an unrelated func­
tion ; he must form judgments concerning the relations of his opera­
tions to other functions, of the influence of his recommendations on
other department policies. He must have accurate knowledge of
business functions other than his own. At meetings of the executive
board his recommendations will carry weight in proportion to the
confidence he has created in other executives’ minds by repeated evi­
dence of his understanding of their duties and problems.
(<?) One.or two highly specialized courses, relating specifically
to the functions and problems of the employment executive, impart­
ing information about the organization and operations of employ­
ment departments in business to-day, analyzing and discussing their
problems, and gathering all information acquired in more general
courses of the entire educational system, and reinterpreting it with



PROCEEDIN'GS OP EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

87

respect to the new and particular point of view. All preliminary
courses have served to fashion the arrow and prepare the necessary
parts; these particular courses attach the feather and sharpen the
point.
(d) In connection with the work of the university and of the
university school of business administration, there must be organized
relationship for apprenticeship opportunities with the employment
department of business firms. I emphasize the word “ organized.”
The course of supplementary instruction in the plant must be as care­
fully worked out and as complete as is that in the university. The
student must be taken through every phase of the department’s work,
and must have an experience among the working people. This sup­
plementary apprenticeship experience will give information not to
be secured in the classroom, will give information about the work­
ability of principles formulated in the classroom, and will give a
new meaning to all information acquired in the university.
The individual thus trained for employment executive work will
not be a complete and experienced employment manager, ready to
assume full responsibility, but he will be high grade material, ready
for final training in actual service under an experienced manager.
In conclusion I wish to make my arguments complete by describing
as a concrete example the course of training for the employment
executive function as worked out by the Tuck School.
Imagine an educational pyramid, built up of a number of strata of
educational processes.
1. The first, or base stratum, consists of the primary school; and
2. The second stratum consists of the secondary school.
The function of these schools is character and mind development
and the imparting of basic information. Their organization and
methods are outside the range of the influence of the Tuck School.
3. The third stratum is the freshman, sophomore, and junior years
of the college, considered en bloc. The function of its process is
character and mind development of a higher order, and the impart­
ing of information of a more complex nature. The Tuck School,
through its entrance requirements, has two distinct influences on the
student and his educational development at this stage: It prescribes
certain courses of preparation, such as economics, political science
and sociology; and it puts into operation a selecting machinery by
the requirement for admission of a high quality of work during those
years.
4. The fourth stratum is the first year of the Tuck School, equiva­
lent to the senior year of the college. In this year all students take
the same block of prescribed courses, which introduce them to the
basic facts and principles of every phase of business, and give them,



38

BULLETIN OF TH E BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

in the method by which they are required to work, a taste of the
discipline of business service. There is at this stage no specialization
within the field of business.
5. The fifth stratum is the second year, or graduate year, of the
Tuck School. The greater part of the instruction of this year repre­
sents more intensive study of ail functions of business, and is received
by all students irrespective of their respective lines of specialization.
In addition, there is given opportunity for moderate specialization,
which, in the case of future employment managers, is in the general
subject of organization, administration and management.
6. The sixth stratum, or apex of the pyramid, is represented by a
special course in employment management, and by a thesis which is
the solution of a specific problem of management in a specific plant.
This course comprises an intensive study of the problems of manage­
ment reflating to the employment and supervision of personnel, the
control of working conditions, and the relation between employer and
employee. Among other things are considered the source of supply
of employees—public, trade, and commercial schools, vocation bu­
reaus, employment agencies, etc.; classes of employees with reference
to their physical, mental, and temperamental qualifications for differ­
ent kinds of work; classes of work with reference to their demands
upon employees; methods of hiring; general supervision; training
during employment; promotion and transfer; records; discharge;
control of working conditions—safety, health recreation; employees’
cooperative associations; wage systems; esprit and good will; quali­
fications and functions of the employment manager; associations of
employment managers.
Because the course of training is new and is being offered this year
for the first time, I can not describe any general arrangement with
business firms for supplementary apprenticeship work. We cross
our bridges as we come to them. Adequate provision has been made
for the men now specializing in this course, and the cordial attitude
of many business men toward the course, when announced, assures
us that apprenticeship arrangements can be made for each individual
student whom our selective judgment permits to specialize in this
course.
You will have observed that Tuck School training for any par­
ticular service does not consist merely of one or two specialized
courses, but consists of the entire series of educational processes influ­
enced to meet our ends. The specialized courses are but the capstone
of the pyramid of training. You will have observed also that the
sequence is from the general to the special, from the liberalizing to
the specialized and professional.




PROCEEDINGS OP E M P L O Y M E N T M AN AG ERS * C O N FE REN CE.

39

DISCUSSION.

Mr. A. L i n c o l n F i l e n e (manager, William Filene’s Sons Co.,
Boston). It must be significant to those who have listened here
to-night, to note that a city of the importance of Minneapolis should
be the first to take initial steps in a national meeting devoted to
the question of employment, which is the logical outcome of the voca­
tional guidance movement some five years ago. The purpose of that
movement was to see if there could be established in the publicschool system a basis for the intelligent choice of occupations. I
do not mean the finding of specific jobs but rather providing for
the intelligent choice of jobs; also the prolongation of the educa­
tional life of the boy and girl since they were taken by industry
at an early age.
Suppose we have the system developed. What next? The boy
or girl could leave the school with an intelligent choice of his
occupation. What next? We are face to face with the fact that
industrial and commercial employments have never been taken
seriously enough, and that the average man who hires and dis­
charges has never realized the potentialities of his own particular
job. He selected unscientifically and discharged in the same man­
ner. There was never any basis laid down for intelligent judgment
of what his job consisted and of what the particular job he offered
had consisted, where the job was going to lead, and what relation
it had to the industry as a whole. The next step then was the
study of the employment manager’s job.
The remarkable thing about this is that to-day, although it is
in its elementary stage, the employment manager idea is becoming
practically a national movement. About six or eight cities have
already found it possible to get their employment managers together
in the form of an association; to discuss their problems, exchange
their views, and endeavor to learn what are the underlying causes
of misemployment, nonemployment, and industrial unrest. To Min­
neapolis comes the satisfaction, perhaps hardly realized as yet, of
having started the first national conference on this subject.
It is my prediction that, if you business men get behind this move­
ment, you will look back before very many years to what is perhaps
the proudest and most satisfactory thing in your lives—the time
when you put yourselves behind this movement; because it is com­
ing, and it is coming so fast that, unless the business men take it up,
it will get away from them, just the same as many phases of indus­
trial unrest have gotten away from the business men, because they
have not tackled it in time. Therefore I congratulate the city of
Minneapolis.



40

BULLETIN OP TH E BUBEAU OP LABOR STATISTICS.

I do not think that a city can finally be very much larger than
its industries and its commerce. Everything that is done for the
commercial welfare of the city will be reflected largely by the way
its employment problems are handled.
Secretary B l o o m f ie l d . Following Dr. Person’s important paper,
announcing what a great school of business is doing in New Eng­
land, it is only right that you should hear a few words from Prof.
Willits from the University of Pennsylvania, who will tell us what
the Wharton School, that old school of finance and administration,
is proposing with regard to the employment managers’ course.
Prof. W il l it s . Mr. Chairman, in a word, our school is not far
enough from its inception, so that we can look back, so far as em­
ployment managers’ work is concerned, on any actual accomplish­
ment. As a matter of fact, we are about one year, as near as I
can state it, in the rear of the Tuck School in our efforts to give
specific training looking toward employment management. O f
course, our school, as perhaps a few of you know,,is a general busi­
ness school, gives, general courses in accounting, business, law,
finance, a general course in industrial management, etc., advertising,
and salesmanship. We have had general courses covering manufac­
turing industries in a general way; we have had two courses, one
of them a general course, covering also, in a cultural way, the entire
field of industrial management; and that has been supplemented by,
a course which consists very largely of trips through and studies in
individual factories.
Only this year we are beginning to put in more work in the first
of the general industrial movement courses devoted to employment
management and the work and problems of the employment manager.
At this time it is taking about three months’ work in the regular
course, supplemented with about eight lectures by those who are do­
ing more to create employment management success than any other
group of individuals. We are having people who are starting em­
ployment managers’ associations; we are having Dr. Person come
down, Mr. Dennison, of the Dennison, Manufacturing Co., and others,
to discuss the work in their individual plants; one man to discuss
a training system—all in a hasty way, perhaps, but we hope and
expect that this work will be the means of establishing a successful,
specific employment management course.
Prof. M it c h e l l . Mr. Filene has reviewed the subject of vocational
guidance, so I do not have to spend any time on that, so I can spend
the time in saying a few words about the work that we have started
at the University of Minnesota. We have a course there covering
the study of the industrial history—history of industry and com­
merce of the United States, marketing of products, and accounts;
we also have one short-unit course in business management, which



PROCEEDINGS OP EMPLOYMENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

41

happens to be in my charge. In that course, among other things,
I try to impart to the student a knowledge and appreciation of the
ideals of management represented by the different systems of scien­
tific management. Thus far we have no course in employment man­
agement, so called; all that is done in that field is done incidentally
in the course of business management that I have mentioned; and
this prompts me to tell you about some of the plans which I have
and some things which have already been commenced. Dr. Person
has spoken about the importance of giving the student information,
not merely in the classroom, but out in the establishments them­
selves, in an organized way. I have had that idea also, although I
have not started out in an organized way, but I have been planning
to do so. Of course, that requires a considerable amount of prepara­
tion by the person in charge of the work; and in preparing myself
I spent last summer in the study of the Taylor system of manage­
ment as exemplified in the plant of th e---------Manufacturing Co.,
in Philadelphia, and I shall pursue that study and investigation dur­
ing the 15 months, at least, following next June. My object is to
qualify myself to direct such work. And I shall simply close by
saying to the business men and business managers in the audience
here that when I approach you for the purpose of getting the
systematic use of your business establishments for the purpose o f
training the young men in Minneapolis by practicing the manage­
ment and finance and these other subjects, I trust that you will
welcome me.
(Meeting adjourned until Thursday, January 20, 9.30 a. m.)




42

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

Thursday mormng, January 20, 1916.

Chairman, Mr. Edgar J. Couper.
THE AIM AND WORK OF EMPLOYMENT MANAGERS’ ASSOCIATIONS.
BY METER BLOOMFIELD,

Director of Vocation Bureau, Boston, Mass.

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen: A good deal of what we
heard last night concerning the employment managers can, in my
judgment, be best realized only through a responsible organization,
not only of employment executives, because I should take it that
an employment managing body made up only of those representing
business would be subject to a destroying ingrowing and inbreed­
ing. The very fundamental idea in the employment management
profession is expressed in one who knows enough of the world out­
side to understand the problems within the establishment. For this
reason the Employment Managers’ Association of Boston was started
four years ago, the first of its kind, I think, brought about chiefly
for the reason which Mr. Filene suggested last night—that is, if
the schools should train these young people for work, and if the
conditions of employment should remain the same, unchanged by
the same spirit which is behind the schools, a greater part of the
community’s investment in that education is sure to be destroyed.
Therefore, when 50 or more men were brought together four years
ago not only to consider their responsibility as employment men,
but to consider the question of where they fitted into the scheme
of things, there was special care taken that in that group there
should be educators of the type represented by Mr. Thompson, our
associate superintendent, and others who thought of industrial
efficiency in terms of the child.
That mixture of able and farseeing school men with the rightminded employment men proved to be worth while. The organiza­
tion did not become a narrow, exclusive, partisan, prejudiced affair;
a growing public spirit has marked the discussions from the first
meeting to the last.
How were those 50 men selected? They were picked at random,
because there was nothing definite in the field of employment man­
agement. What was the idea of bringing them together? It was
this: The employment man is the one who essentially pumps the life­
blood into the establishment. He is not a keeper of human stores to



PROCEEDINGS OP EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS’ CONFERENCE.

43

fill requisitions as one does in the tool room. That idea prevailed,
and perhaps does prevail, in some establishments, to some extent;
but there is no analogy between the room where the tools and sup­
plies are stored and the employment department where human be­
ings are seeking the way to earn their bread.
An absolutely different viewpoint was needed; and the first method
of approach had to be from the viewpoint of waste. Therefore, these
men who have never before been organized, as I have described, to
compare notes, to exchange experiences, to understand what was
going on under their very noses, these men were asked to come to­
gether and discuss, first, their responsibility for that terrific waste
represented by the leakage of employees—a preventable leakage—
and the complication of a community’s nonemployment problem
through that leakage.
In the beginning we found not more than*two or three of the em­
ployment men had ever given any thought to the coming and going
of the workmen. They had no figures to show whether or not they
hired and fired in a wickedly wasteful manner. They took it to be
a part of the nature of things that men should come and go, just as
in the old-fashioned establishments belts would break and an occa­
sional fire would break out; it was all a part of the game. It was a
new thought to discover why men are separated from their jobs.
We went further. We tried out whether there was any estimate
of the cost of changing an employee. “ Is it worth while, is it profit­
able, to permit these changes to go on, and who pays the price,
besides the worker? ” And the estimates during the early years
ranged from 50 cents to $200 in changing an employee.
Then, again, when the matter came up of the school, or, rather, of
the industry cooperating with the school, some of the employment
men had no idea of what they must do, as well as the school, in order
that the boy and girl may get properly started in work. They looked
upon it as a one-sided proposition. We did not have the Minneapolis
survey and that wonderful example of complete community cooper­
ation, to hold up as an example both to the employment of men and
the school men in that council, to show what they must do before
you can have a principle or scheme of guidance, training, employ­
ment, and starting in life.
Then came more detailed questions: Who can fire in an establish­
ment? How do you control discharging? Is it incumbent on me, as
the subboss, or have I the right, to interfere with a man’s earning
capacity and the support of his family?
What system is there to assure a circulation of talent and capacity,
let alone encouragement, or at least loyalty, in an establishment?
Again, we found a vacuum, an utter absence of insight, informa­
tion, to say nothing of imagination. Employers may think that they



44

BU LLETIN OP TH E BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

create loyalty by putting up pretty mottoes—“ Be loyal,” and “ Do
it now,” and “ Don’t watch the clock,”—so using an inferior form of
Christian Science on a real industrial evil, using the method of
“ absent treatment,” other than the “ laying on of hands.”
I f the employer wants loyalty, he must deserve it. I f he wants
efficiency, he, too, must be efficient and set the example through an
efficient organization. It so happens that, if this is right sentiment,
it is good business, too. And it is very poor business not to recognize
that this is good business.
And so we groped, in a halting way, as we began to tackle the
problems that go deepest into a man’s source of satisfaction or dis­
satisfaction. They touch the human element all along the line; not
from the top, not from a remote, aloof standpoint, handing down
something to the man below; but recognizing all that he feels and
thinks by the way of economic offering, as well as merely a contribu­
tion to the organization. It means dealing on a level with the
worker, prescribing nothing for him, giving him no predigested
philanthropy, or education; it means “ team play,” based on a humble
desire to understand just what the worker brings with him in the
way of ideas, desires, and capacity.
Now, this, ladies and gentlemen, is a technical engineering problem
I am discussing, not only vague, sentimental altruism. It means the
same scientific study that has so far been given to cost keeping, fac­
tory management, and the other devices which have dealt with
machines, with management, and, too, incidentally, with men.
Now, that same engineering insight, plus vision, plus capacity to
cooperate with the desires of those who produce—that is the new pro­
fession of handling men. The employment societies in different parts
o f the country may or may not approximate this ideal, this goal. To
some it may sound academic. But we are convinced by evidence
which would require hours even to summarize, evidence based on in­
formation from coast to coast, that the important business enterprises
recognize that the time is at hand for a new understanding of the
management problem; that we must go to school again, not to install
new systems of education, but to find out what the workingman in
the twentieth century is going to demand as his price for being
efficient, for being loyal; to find what the community is going to de­
mand, before it bestows success on an enterprise.
Through no sentimentality can we arrive at a basis or a policy in
employment management; but through detailed studies, such as you
heard last night; such as are being made in plant after plant, check­
ing the sources of abuse, clipping irresponsibile authority, opening
channels of promotion, and assuring permanence and regularity of
employment; and, most of all, making men, while making profits.



PROCEEDINGS OP EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS' CONPERENCE.

45

THE NEW APPRENTICESHIP AS A FACTOR IN REDUCING LABOR
TURNOVER.
BT CHARLES A . PROSSER,

Director of Dunwoody Industrial Institute, Minneapolis, Minn.

My subject is “ The new apprenticeship as a factor in reducing
labor turnover.” I take the term “ labor turnover ” to mean employ­
ing too many poor men to get a standard organization of good men
for a plant.
It is hard to agree as to what is meant by the term “ new appren­
ticeship.” I understand the “ old apprenticeship ” to mean that sys­
tem of long service in a skilled trade during which the youth was
prepared by the employer to follow the trade. Under modem con­
ditions there are many industries that can no longer be called skilled.
Large scale production and extreme division of labor, as well as the
specialized machine, have gradually circumscribed the scope of the
thing you call the “ skilled trades ” and compelled us to draw a line
of distinction between old and new apprenticeship.
There was never a time in the history of industry when there was
quite so much of a demand for a small number of all-round, highly
skilled workmen; and there was never a time in the history of in­
dustry when there was so little opportunity to prepare that kind of
men. So I firmly believe there is still a place, and a permanent place,
for the old apprenticeship, in which the school must play a large part.
When I speak of the new apprenticeship, I mean that new system
of training workers which is surely coming in this country, when the
school will play a large part in the training of workers, whether for
the nonskilled, medium-skilled, or highly skilled trades and indus­
tries, and whether by all-day, part-time, or evening school.
When I speak of the new apprenticeship, I have in mind the ques­
tion as to how the school is to play its part in the selection and the
training of workers of every kind.
I thoroughly believe in the necessity for employment managers
and in the idea of the employment managers’ association. They are
needed as much in Minneapolis as anywhere. We have been making
a survey in the city of Minneapolis during the last seven months.
When you talk about the proper hiring, training, promotion, and
retaining of workers, I am compelled to say that, so far as Minne­
apolis is concerned—and Minneapolis is no exception to the rule
throughout this country—there practically “ ain’t no such animal.”



46

BULLETIN OF TH E BUREAU OF LABOB STATISTICS*

With the exception of the excellent system of the Ford plant,
where the conditions are so exceptional (excellently as the work is
done) that it carries but very little message for the general run of
industries, and with the exception of some excellent things that a few
establishments are doing, there is no scientific way, there is no sys­
tematic, organized way of selecting, inducting, training, and promot­
ing workers in the city of Minneapolis. I started to make a study
of the subject and gave it up.
Broadly speaking, the situation is this throughout the country:
Almost every foreman or head of department hires his own men; he
hires them on the spur of the moment; he hires them in times of
stress; he hires them without having established any standards; he
hires them by chance; he hires them usually without investigation,
on the recommendation of some more or less irresponsible person.
I do not believe we shall get very far in any large industrial estab­
lishment until the plant is so organized that, in the last analysis, at
least, one man is responsible for the preliminary selection, in any
event, of the people who are to be employed in that establishment.
I believe there is a necessity for an employment managers’ associa­
tion in Minneapolis. Further, this city, like every large city, is
to-day trying to establish a bureau of vocational guidance and di­
rection—not a bureau of placement. I do not believe that bureau
will ever be made effective until in some way cooperative relations
be established between persons in that bureau who have to do with
the youth—as they leave the schools to seek positions—and an em­
ployment managers’ association which has to do with their selection
and placement in plants.
So that I am for the employment managers’ association. First, be­
cause I do not believe that you can properly select employees for the
large plant otherwise; and, second, because I believe that without it
any bureau of vocational guidance and placement will remain in­
efficient and be nothing more than “ sounding brass and a tinkling
cymbal.”
I shall talk, in what I have to say further to you, very largely
about the experiences we have had in Minneapolis. That is to say,
so far as is possible I shall use my illustrations from experiences
we have had here during the last seven months while the survey was
being made. I shall talk about the problem of selecting, inducting,
training, and promoting workers in industrial establishments.
I have always recognized the necessity for the employment man­
ager, the necessity for machinery in the discharge of his task, the
necessity of establishing standards to which, roughly speaking,
workers must conform when they come into the plant.
I also recognize the necessity for the existence of the prevocational
school for children between the ages of 12 and 14, or from 13 to



PROCEEDINGS O F EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

47

15, or from 14 to 16—according to the varying conditions of the
various States, where children are brought into contact with varied
industrial activities—that they may learn what they like and what
likes them, before they face the employment manager. Only in this
way can they gain an idea of what they wish to do. But I desire to
talk more especially about the industrial and trade school as a factor
in reducing the labor turnover.
The all-day industrial trade school preparing the youth in part for
the demands of a trade or occupation will reach a small number;
but the great mass of men who work are to be reached and lifted
through the continuation, part-time, or evening school.
I regard the boys and girls who attend the all-day school any­
where as being a highly selected group, who will make their way up
to the industry, because by virtue of that selection they are destined
for leadership.
As a result of the survey, we have established in Minneapolis trade
understandings with about 24 different trades and industries. The
employers in each of these have agreed to apply to the Dunwoody
Institute, the Girls’ Vocational High School, or the technical depart­
ment of the Central High School as the first source of supply in tak­
ing on new workers. We have opened up, as it were, a funnel leading
into the industry.
One of the finest things about that arrangement is that the tradeunions of the city have approved of it most heartily for all the
organized shops over which they have jurisdiction. So that plan is in
operation in both organized and unorganized shops, with both or­
ganized and unorganized employers, and has to do with unorganized
as well as organized trades.
In these two schools there is a period of three months at the very
outset during which these young people who elect one trade or one
industry are tried out in that trade or industry in the shop, and if
they find they are not fitted for the trade, or do not like the trade,
they are shifted to another trade.
All the experience in this country goes to show, however, that in
about ninety-seven out of every hundred cases the trade or industry
which the pupil elects at the very outset is the one which he seems
best fitted to follow.
So that, so far as the daytime student is concerned, we are de­
termining in advance whether or not this youth should go into this or
that trade. We are sure to reduce the labor turnover, so far as the
day classes of the industrial school are concerned. By a process of
two years’ selection and training, a process which requires sacrifice
on the part of the student, the day school will be able to present its
graduates to the trades and say, “ Here are young people who want



48

BU LLETIN OP TH E BUBEAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

to follow your line and who have made the sacrifice in order to get
the training.”
I submit that this is a better selective process than any employing
manager can set up at the door of his factory, however excellent it
may be.
There has been also established in Minneapolis a technical course
at the Central High School. The business men have agreed as their
first source of supply to apply to that high school for the young
men graduates from a 4-year technical course and to employ them
at not less than $50 a month.
At the beginning of the freshman year these young fellows have
said, “ I want to go into the industry on the technical side, to begin
at the bottom and work up on the business and administrative side.”
They are to be after a while what I might call, for want of a better
name, noncommissioned officers of industry. Having finished the
eighth grade and spent 4 years of study in the technical course of
the high school, when their fellows were out making pocket money,
and perhaps wearing better clothes, they are ready for employment in
their chosen work. We should be able to present them to the indus­
tries of the city, and say, “ Here is a highly selected group; you need
not fear but that these fellows will make good in your business.”
I submit to you that this process of selecting desirable young men
is better than the best employment manager could possibly devise
and successfully carry out.
Thus far I have been talking about the part which I think the
all-day school is to play in this question of selecting and training
workers. The trouble with the enthusiasts in industrial education
to-day is that we are divided into hostile camps, to a great extent,
because all of us are looking at just one comer of the problem, and
in our enthusiasm for our particular little scheme we forget we need
the excellence of all the others. I must confess that I get very im­
patient, sometimes, when I hear the attacks made upon the all-day
industrial school for the 2-year period between the ages of 14 and
16,15 and 17, or 16 and 18, for that highly selected group which is
willing to pay the price to get the preparation that it needs in
equipment for entrance, growth, and promotion in industry. The
continuation school, the part-time school, and the evening school,
however, not only have a place, but it is the largest place, as they are
reaching by far the largest groups.
Now, the question of preparing the worker for the job. The
Northwestern Knitting Mills of Minneapolis have just established,
within the last four weeks, partly, I think, as the result of the work
of the survey, a school for cutters. The new girls who s\re to be
cutters in the establishment are trained in a three-months course in



PROCEEDINGS OP EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

49

the plant before they go on to the regular floor to do productive
work. The all-day school, preparing young people before they go
into the shop, and by establishing understandings with the indus­
tries, being able to assure these young people a start in the trade
when they go out as wage earners, is another kind of training scheme
for new workers.
The evening school, to my mind, is to be largely a device for in­
ducting the men into a new job in the plant in which they are already
employed, or in another plant to which they have been promoted.
We have at the Dunwoody Institute this year 1,400 men in evening
classes, and they are all trade extension classes with the exception of
the automobile courses, where skilled machinists are admitted.
Every man is engaged in the daytime in the work in which he seeks
supplemental instruction at night.
We found this to be true, so far as trade classes are concerned,
that the courses need to be organized into a series of brief courses
of from 10 to 15 lessons each, arranged so that the student may
take any one or all of them. Where a man who knows how to run
one machine finds a demand on him to run another, and can not get
the knowledge and practice under the conditions of the industry, he
should be able to come to the school and learn how to run the new
machine.
When we opened up the machine shops of three schools in Minne­
apolis last fall, a large number of machinists wanted to learn how to
run just the machines that would enable them to turn out shrapnel.
While the product made may not be a very pleasant thing to think
about, nevertheless such was the demand of the establishment in
which they worked. In order to make more money, or hold their
positions, they wanted additional training on the lathe. They knew
how to run one machine, but came back to school to learn how to
run another. They were inducting themselves, through the good
offices of the school, into a new job and a better job.
I should certainly be lacking in due appreciation of an excellent
piece of work if I did not, at this time, stop for a moment to em­
phasize the thing that Wisconsin has done. Wisconsin took the posi­
tion that the child in industry was the ward of the State, that he
was in industry without adequate preparation, and therefore handi­
capped for the future. By compulsion of law Wisconsin brings back
these young people (until of the age of 17 years, I believe) to get the
kind of equipment they need for their life work, whether it be in the
industry in which they are occupied or in another toward which
their attention is directed by means of a trying-out process in the
continuation school.
31856°—Bull. 196—16------i



50

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

Then there is the part-time school. We have done but little with
that in Minneapolis. The truth is, Minneapolis is still in the eveningschool stage of this discussion. We have two part-time classes.
We have also what we call a dull-season class for bricklayers, to
which I want to call attention; these are formed under an agree­
ment under which the employers agree to pay half the regular wage
of the apprentice during the months of January and February, when
building operations cease, generally.
Not having the room, we have but one of those classes now in
existence—the bricklaying group. The money to be paid by the
employer for the training of these boys is deposited in escrow with
the trustees of the Dunwoody Institute, and is to be given to the
boys in the form of check at the close of the course. Similar
arrangements are to be made with the painters, plasterers, and
plumbers—a new form of training in service.
I think that we, as school men, have been trying to leap too many
hurdles, in our enthusiasm over industrial education. We have been
going so fast that we could not see the milestones, and it has caused
us for the time being to forget that, after all, under present condi­
tions, at least in the absence of compulsion upon the employer and
upon the young worker, we must rely upon the evening school for
reaching 90 per cent of the people already in the industries, who
are seeking the way up to larger efficiency.
When we belittle the evening school and magnify our little day
school, or our part-time school with its handful of boys and girls,
we are turning our backs upon the institution which, dollar for
dollar, will render more return in help to the worker than any other
educational device for the workingman that I think we will ever
•establish.
The man who goes to evening school goes with the hope that he
will be able to increase his wage-earning capacity. One problem
of the employment manager, or any other employer, is the question
of how he may encourage the attempt on the part of that employee
of his to get more training. The tragic thing about it is that, all
over the country, so many employers are deaf and blind to that
situation—as a group. The man comes to evening school; he takes
on a knowledge of drawing; he learns some mathematics; he acquires
the ability to handle a new machine; he learns cost estimating; he
takes greater proficiency back to the shop—and the employer doesn’t
even know he has been studying. When the time comes for a pro­
motion in the plant, which this man ought to have, other things being
equal, he is too often passed over for someone else, either because
he is too modest, or because the plant lacks standard and system in
measuring efficiency, or because the foreman has some favorite whom
he wishes to put in the position. The evening classes of this country



PROCEEDINGS OF EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS' CONFERENCE.

51

will never be where they ought to be, in the confidence of the work­
ing people, and in their patronage, until the employers wake up to
this state of affairs.
The man who goes to evening school is a marked man; he is the
extraordinary man in his trade; he is the man with energy and am­
bition. The very fact that he goes to evening school marks him out
from among his fellows—without saying anything as to his training.
The men who attend the evening schools are usually the best men
in the plants; but they will not get the encouragement and recog­
nition they deserve until the plants in this country standardize their
work, and until the employer learns to evaluate his own employees
and take more interest in them and in what they are doing.
I am thoroughly appreciative of a lot of things that employers
have been doing. But until an employer is more keenly alive to the
possibilities of the schools as a selective process and a means of giv­
ing proper preparation to the boys and girls destined for the indus­
tries, all our talks about “ the benefit of industrial education to the
workingman ” are a joke.
I would like to tell you about how we are trying to correct that
situation here in Minneapolis. We have held 186 conferences this
summer. I have been in every trade-union hall in Minneapolis, so
far as I know, and have met members and representatives of every
trade here. I have been with every employers’ association, so far as
I know, in this city, and have met the employers of practically every
industry here. To all of these I have said, “ I don’t care anything
about your controversies on other questions; what I am after is to
get you together on the common ground that something needs to be
done to set up a scheme of proper training for the workers in this
city, for their good and for your good.” All through those confer­
ences the note was sounded over and over again that the question of
industrial education goes—not to the benefit of the employer—he
will get his reward (in dividends); but to the benefit of the worker.
It is on that basis that we shall have to stand, as men engaged in
industrial education in this country, and all the other things will
come.
We are arranging to take groups of employees through our eve­
ning schools to see the 1,400 men who are studying there, every one
eager to improve himself in his trade or industry, in order that they
may the better realize the situation.
One of the most important factors in this question of scientific
management is the human element, and one of the very large factors
in the whole problem is to be the school. So, whether you talk about
selecting, or inducting, or training, or promoting the workers, the
school must have its place. The corporation schools will doubtless
take care of their own needs. Excellent as is their work, they form




52

BU LLETIN OP TH E BUREAU OP LABOB STATISTICS.

but a small part in the great problem of reaching the mass of workers
in this country. It is the public schools and the private schools work­
ing in harmony together, facing the employer, facing the employment
manager, facing the trade-unions, and facing the man who is not a
member of the union, and saying to all alike, “ The school has its
message, and no question of larger production, no question of better
production, no questions of selecting, inducting, training and pro­
moting workers, can be solved without it.”




PROCEEDINGS OF EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

53

TRAINING THE IMMIGRANT IN INDUSTRY.
BY W . C. SM ITH ,

Specialist in classes for illiterates, State Department of Education, Albany, N. 7.

The five M’s
of business:

Materials.
Machinery.
Money.
Merchandising.
Men.

Hugh Chalmers, the captain of industry, says of these that we
must henceforward pay as much attention to the man end of the
business as we have formerly paid tp the other four, if we are to
maintain the present status of American industry.
That this national organization has granted a hearing on the ques­
tion of the eight million or more immigrants in industry is significant
of the timely importance of the problem. Add to this evidence that
the Chamber o f Commerce of the United States has appointed an
immigration committee to consider the status of the foreign-born
laborer. This indicates that it is a time in which to assay the con­
dition of the immigrant labor supply, and survey the future of this
labor source, which in its present form, without Americanization and
training in industrial ideals, may easily become a menace, transform­
ing the whole fabric of the labor world, as it now exists.
ENGLISH FIRST AND AMERICANIZATION.

These activities in behalf of the immigrant, among manufacturers
to-day, would indicate that the stress is laid on the Americanization
of the foreigner. “ English first” is a slogan around which most
of us may rally as a starting point. This is forcibly put, in a timely
address by John H. Fahey, president of the Chamber of Commerce
of the United States, before the national Americanization committee
at its Philadelphia meeting:
It is impossible to separate the industrial from the civic and social
relations of the immigrant—efficiency in the one is impossible with­
out competence in the other. In plain words, non-English speaking
workmen, living in southern European standards, ignorant of Ameri­
can industrial ideals, with no sense of the responsibilities of Ameri­
can residence, to say nothing of American citizenship, are not a stable
asset in industry.
Yet upon this unsteady foundation to-day many pf our most im­
posing industrial structures are being raised—our railroads, our steel




54

BULLETIN OP TH E BUREAU OP LABOR STATISTICS.

plants, our great new munition factories, and a dozen others in the
order of their importance.
The immigrant will never be industrially efficient until he is
socially competent, until he knows English and the customs and
standards o f America; and that whatever the legitimate responsi­
bility of industry may be, or may not be, the employer is the Ameri­
can force that is nearest to the immigrant. The employer holds the
strategic position, and it will be he more than any other agency who
will, through industrial channels, bring the immigrant workman to
both industrial and civic efficiency.
The present great impetus in American industry is one which the
immigrant has aided greatly, but has only shared in its burdens.
The manufacturer has the counter obligation to industry, that it
must train him in industry, prevent his exploitation by outside
agencies, make it possible by recognizing his right in wages to live
up to the American standards demanded by legislation. The present
is a time for readjustment, while immigration is at a low ebb. The
industry in which the immigrant works offers the best chance to him
for a “ way out.”
The wastage in the immigrant labor world offers a challenge.
Fifty per cent could be saved in accidents if the laborer could under­
stand English.
What would you do if you saw
OHACHOCTb.

h u

nfia

As a matter of fact, it simply means “ danger” in Russian or
Yiddish.
EDUCATION OF IMMIGRANTS IN THE INDUSTRIES.1

Employers are coming to see the necessity of teaching their for­
eign-born employees the English language and something of the
rules of safety. Experience shows that a large proportion of indus­
trial accidents are due to foreigners not understanding the orders of
the boss or foreman. Furthermore, a canvass of many employers of
foreign-born workingmen indicates that a knowledge of English is
urgently needed for the employment. This is particularly true of
railroads, steel plants, and foundries. The latter group of industries
has made a special effort for adult immigrant education in the
English language, and in some instances the movement has devel­
oped into a broadly organized system of education. Two typical
cases are selected—the Casino Technical Night School, East Pitts­
burgh, Pa., and the school maintained by D. E. Sicher & Co., of
New York City.
1 Report of United States Commissioner of Education for year ending June 30, 1914, pp.
448, 440.



PROCEEDINGS OF E M P L O Y M E N T M AN AGERS* CO N FE REN CE.

55

1. Casino Technical Night School.

A number of industrial corporations in the vicinity of Pittsburgh
organized an industrial training school for their foreign-born em­
ployees. A staff o f paid expert instructors was put in charge. The
school is carried on through the cooperation of the Turtle Creek
school board, which has rented a public-school building to the man­
agement on the basis of $3 per month for each room. Only 25 per
cent of the pupils are residents of the Turtle Creek district, the others
coming from the districts in the vicinity. The training is open not
only to employees of the companies supporting the undertaking, but
also to those of other plants. In 1904 the enrollment was only 100;
last year it was almost 700. There are over 40 teachers in the fac­
ulty, and the expense budget exceeds $15,000. A tuition o f $25_ is
charged, making it about one-half self-supporting. The local in­
dustries contribute an annual amount of about $6,000 to $7,000.
The school year is nine months, i. e., from about September 1 to
June 1. A two-year preparatory course and a four-year course in
the fundamental principles of engineering are given. Regular classes
meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings of each week. Each
evening is divided into three periods, the first beginning at 6.15 p. m.
and the last ending at 9.15 p. m. The term is divided into two se­
mesters of 19 weeks each. New students may enter at the beginning
o f each term. The teachers are selected with a view to their ability,
not only as specialists, but as to active participation in practical work,
broad training, and wide experience. Students are classified by per­
sonal interview and by examination at the opening of each term. All
new students are put on probation for the first four weeks.
Upon the opening of the school it was found that many of the
foreign applicants wishing to take industrial or technical training
had an inadequate command of English. Many also needed prepara­
tory work in the common branches. To provide this preliminary
in stru ctio n , courses in English, spelling, reading, writing, grammar,
and arithmetic were developed, with emphasis on shop terms in use
in the various trades.
The school gives training in electricity, engineering, mechanical
drawing, shop practice, wood turning, foundry work, etc. Little
attention is paid to citizenship, except as an incident to English
training. A course in household arts for women reaches a number
o f foreign girls.
2. D. E. Sicher & Co., New York City.

The firm of D. E. Sicher & Co., a muslin-goods plant o f New York
City, employs a large number of foreign-speaking employees, many
o f whom are illiterate. A cooperative scheme was worked out
whereby the company furnished a classroom and partly financed the
plan, while the New York City Board of Education furnished teacher,
supplies, and general educational supervision. Officially the experi­
ment was put on record as a part of public school No. 4, thus eliminat­
ing the need of red tape in its establishment and maintenance. The
purpose of the school was not so much to teach English as to give a
very simple form of industrial training, to which learning English
was an incident. The class was made up of fa c to ry employees.
Forty girls graduated at the end of the term, representing a variety




56

BU LLETIN OP TH E BUBEAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

of immigrant nationalities. Training was given in dressmaking,
arithmetic, reading, writing, spelling, English letter writing, etc.
There was a drawing class, stereopticon lectures, music, and a travel­
ing library. Effort was made to teach the girls how to care for their
health and person, how to use the telephone book, and other matters
tending to promote their welfare and efficiency. At the end of the
course a “ certificate of literacy” was given each graduate by the
board of education.




PROCEEDINGS OP EMPLOYMENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

57

ADDRESS BY HON. WILLIAM C. REDFIELD, SECRETARY OF
COMMERCE.

Mr. Chairman, ladies, and gentlemen: This subject of employment
management is and has been for 21 years a problem, not so much of
my own as one going on under my eye. In the business and in the
experiences of which I shall speak to you I was a spectator, because
my own end of the particular business was the placing of the prod­
uct to keep the employment end busy. There was always a kindly
competition between the employment end and the selling end, and I
was constantly told that it was up to me to provide employment;
but perhaps some of the actual results of a kind of scientific employ­
ment may be of interest to you.
I think it is a fact that in an experience covering 12 years in that
business, with a force of between 300 and 400 men, there were but
14 changes. Of these, six or eight, possibly, were caused by death;
all the others were caused by the men going into business for them­
selves. I think it is a fact that there was not a case of a man dis­
charged in that entire 12 years. I remember very well the case of
one man who, from age, was becoming less productive; but even he
was helped along, through kindness, until death ended that problem.
I think that was the only case of the sort.
Now, you at once begin to see, those who are familiar with fac­
tory life, the strain that was put upon the selling department. It
was the avowed policy of the factory that no man should be dis­
charged ; and it was up to the selling department to keep that policy
moving. There were occasions, as in the panic of 1897, when it
was impossible to keep the whole force going all the time; but even
at that time every man in the shop was provided with sufficient
work to keep his family and himself from want, as in a great many
factories where the same viewpoint prevailed.
It is needless to say that under such a policy the employment
was considered to be the most serious business in the establishment.
The head of the firm, later the president of the company, did all the
employing himself. His viewpoint was that inasmuch as we ex­
pect not to let the man go we must be very careful who comes; and
he never permitted the superintendent or foreman to do other than
to bring to him the applicant for employment. It was a machine
shop and finishing shop, employing largely skilled labor, and also
a proportion of yard and handling labor; and every one of those




58

BULLETIN* OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

men was employed with personal knowledge, and was under con­
stant supervision and care. The business proved to be the largest
of its kind.
The result was a force of rather unusual quality; and one of the
incidental results was constant applications from men for work in
that establishment. I think we had, most of the time, applications
from the leading men in our competitors’ shops, unsolicited appli­
cations, of course.
The idea was that no one should be taken in who had not some
definite, prospective growth. The head of the company said to me
once that he should feel very much humiliated if a man in the factory
had to ask the foreman for increased pay; because he should feel
that he had been at fault in his organization if a man were earning
an increase in pay which was not given to him before he had occa­
sion to ask for it, that it was faulty management which permitted
such ignorance of a good man’s productiveness that it would leave
him to ask for increase in pay. I need hardly say that such a thing
as a reduction in wages was never considered and never took place.
The result, as I say, was a force of very unusual quality—very un­
usual quality, indeed—and of very unusual productiveness. That,
in combination with the unusual methods of payment—which were
the basis of the factory’s policy—led to an output, both in quantity
and quality, that made the concern grow very, very rapidly, and
made it an extremely difficult concern to compete with. It was a
concern which paid the highest wages in the business; it would de­
liberately pay more than its competitors; its output was much larger,
and was apt to be better than most, if not all; and it got the cream
of the business in the country as it had the cream of the men; and
for these reasons it was an extremely strong competitor.
I have always felt that the last concern in the world I should want
to compete with, as a business man, would be the concern which
paid high wages, and which averaged such a fine quality of product,
and under a leadership which led the men upward all the time. I
have never found any difficulty as a salesman in competing with a
cheap shop. The product of a cheap shop is apt to have a larger
percentage of seconds, and is not apt to be as large.
I wish I could give you a fair idea of one institution. I have in
mind, a woman’s institution—a factory in which there are a thousand
working girls. They earn as a minimum more than half again as
much and as a maximum more than double the wages paid by the
competitors of that factory. The conditions of the employment are
such that the ladies here might wear their white dresses through­
out the factory without danger of soiling. I know, because I took
my wife through and tried the experiment. And, as a result of
that condition there, and a very careful selection in employment,




PROCEEDINGS OP EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS* CONPERENCE.

59

with much attention paid to human values in the shop, that factory
sells its goods, mostly in competition with Germany, England, and
France, in 50 countries, all over the world.
My feeling about the policy of employment is that we stop short in
our thinking. We buy a machine, you and I, and we are very careful
about it, very careful about that machine. In the first place, we do not
buy a machine unless we understand it. There is not one of us here
who would think of putting an apparatus into our office or shop that
we did not understand; that means that we are giving attention to the
laws of that machine; we know what it can do. We should consider
ourselves very, very absurd if we should put into our factory an
apparatus, any apparatus whatever, about which we could say that
we had not studied its laws and did not know how it operated, what
its capacity of output might be, to what extent it would bear over­
strain. As, for example, you would not run a paper machine in a
dusty place; a man would be considered foolish, to say the least, to
do that; and there are other delicate machines which you are espe­
cially careful to keep dry and in other respects to keep guarded and
care for. How many of us pay that much attention to the man, the
human being we take into our employ? How few of us know the
kind of man we take into our shop, an infinitely more complex
machine than any mechanical device; infinitely more complex, with
all sorts of qualities which most of us pay no attention to. In
fact, there is a word much used in that connection which, by its
very use, shows the limitation. We say we employ so many
“ hands.” The very use of the word shows that we do not appre­
ciate the situation. We are not employing “ hands ” ; we are employ­
ing brains and hearts and dispositions, and all sorts of elements
that make up a personality; we are employing them all.
Now, if there is one neglected thing in the employment problem,
it is the human capacity for responsiveness; while we are always
perfectly familiar with the human capacity for unresponsiveness.
We feel that ourselves. We do not like it when we are called upon to
do something which was not in the bond, and we resent it the more if
we are told to do it under conditions of hardship, with no account
being taken of the physical capacity for the particular thing we are
asked to do, with no thought being taken for the infinite complexity
of the human element employed. It is the darkest kind of blundering
and blindness that we use. Here is a man with all sorts of initiative
along certain lines; he can handle a lathe, perhaps, to. perfection;
but because he was employed as a grinder, for which he has no apti­
tude at all, we keep him as a grinder. The idea of selection in many
of our shops and offices is wholly unknown; but a man who is no
good at one thing is assumed, therefore, to be no good at anything.
About the saddest thing in industry is the fearful procession of in­



60

BU LLETIN OP THE BUBEAU OP LABOB STATISTICS.

competents wandering in and out of our great mills and factories.
But almost as sad a sight must be the brain of the alleged superin­
tendent who lets that sort of thing go on indefinitely.
I have in mind two factories, 12 miles apart, in the same line o f
business. In one of them a perfect equipment, modern buildings,
light, everything physically fine; but the owner of that mill stated
to me that he could not get respectable help at any price; and he had
signs in seven languages in the mills, because he had that particular
type of help. Twelve miles away was another mill, whose buildings
were all that such buildings should not be, no two of them on the
same level, whose plant would be an interesting study for the archae­
ologist. The superintendent said to me, “ I wish you would go
down into the factory yard; I want you to see our working girls.”
I went down in the yard, and he had good reason to be proud of the
girls, American born, largely Jewish, fine looking young women.
Only 12 miles apart, in the same State. In the factory that I spoke
of a moment ago, it happened more than once that mothers of way­
ward daughters would bring them to the superintendent and ask if
he would take them into the mill, that they might have the benefit
of the influences of the fine girls working in that mill. On this office
desk stands a silver vase, presented by the entire working force, to
which every girl contributed. And only 40 miles away from there
are some of our great cotton mills, where what takes place with
regard to the sweetness and purity and dignity Of womanhood is a
horror.
I took Mr. Roosevelt through one of those factories one day, and
he spoke to a man named Henry, talked with him. Finally Henry
turned around and called another Henry whom he introduced as his
son. He said, “ I expect in about 3 years we will have the third
Henry here, my grandson, who is just growing up and is coming
into the shop. ” A very interesting object lesson of what was to
take place—three generations at work in the same factory and at
the same time.
May I tell you the story of a man who began work, a little Irish
boy, and the conditions of his employment? His name was Mac.
Mac got $3 a week when he started in, just a boy; but he foundi
himself in an atmosphere which was not, at least, intended to hold
him down. And Mac grew, and every little thing he did that was
worth while brought a word of commendation from the foreman;
and everything he did that was not worth while, at any rate did not
bring a curse from the foreman, as it was a rule of the shop that
foremen should not swear at the men. We lost a good foreman that
way once, but it did not matter; it raised the honor of the employ­
ment and the dignity of the work.



PROCEEDIN'QS OP EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

61

And so Mac did not get cursed at. That was not the way in that
shop. But he grew and improved, and went up to $7 and $8 a week.
And by and by he was put on a small machine. One day his em­
ployer was walking around in the shop, and Mac said to him, “ W ill
you come behind the machine a minute? ” He went, and Mac said,
“ I would be thinking if you would make this tool twice as long, in
here, I could make twice as many of these articles as I am making
now in the same time.” The idea was adopted. I hope you do not
think that type of blind management was in vogue there, which did
not give Mac his share in the profits of this idea. O f course, he
made twice as many as before, and of course he got higher pay for
making them. That is only common sense, just horse sense, to do
that.
A few years went by, and Mac said, one day, “ Do you think you
could be giving me a larger machine?” ‘‘ Why?” “ I have been
thinking that if you could make this part here double width, I could
make four pieces with the big machine, where I am making only two
now.” And so again Mac’s output doubled and his pay went up, and
when the last thing was done he made twice as many with the same
exertion, no more. And by and by there came a time when the fore­
man of the big shop drank over much, and after a series of warnings,
he was obliged to abdicate, and the question arose, “ Who will take
the place?” There was no idea of importing a foreman. I trust
that conception of employment is passing away. These imported
officers are not apt to be successful; they do not know the “ family
traditions,” which are a valuable thing in a shop, if they are good,
and a bad thing if they are bad; the foreman, they felt, had to be
brought up out of the family, and so Mac was selected. I shall never
forget the day on which, after he had been made foreman, he came
for the first time into the large office to speak to his employer. He
entered the door—a small man; and he entered hesitatingly and
modestly, for he had never been called there before; and as he stood
there, his employer had the good sense to rise from his own desk
and say “ Good morning, Mr. Mac.” I was there, and I saw that
man’s shoulders go back and his head go up, with a sense of personal
dignity, as he saw his employer recognize his rise in life.
Some few years later he met Mr. Roosevelt, when I took him
through the shop. Mr. Roosevelt said to him, “ Mac, how long have
you been here?” Mac said, “ It is the only place I have ever worked;
ever since I was a boy.” “ How much did you earn when you
began?” “ Three dollars a week.” “ How much do you earn now?”
“ Fifty dollars a week.” “ Did you say fifteen?” “ No, sir; I said
fifty.” I never forgot that scene—all that it meant, and all that was
behind it.



62

BULLETIN OP TH E BUBEATT OF LABOR STATISTICS.

Now, I am speaking of a strictly competitive business, where there
was no special or unusual conditions in protection by patents or
trade-marks, or anything of that sort, a business which had for many
years very keen competition; and we knew—whose all was in that
factory—we knew that the only saving power of the shop was the
men in the shop, and the only thing to bring that power into useful­
ness was leadership, and that there was no room for “ drivership” ;
and there was not any idea of the men being told to go, but that there
was every idea that men should be told to come.
I wish I had time to tell you more of the benefit of the welfare
work, so called, in the factories; of how it must not be imposed as if
from above to a man below, but always must grow out of their own
aspiration and ideals. Meet your men fully half way; in God’s name
do not try to impose upon them your ideas; they are not needed;
the men will resent them, and they ought to.
I knew a man who gave a splendid clubhouse to his working girls,
and they used it with a great deal of interest for a few months;
then it was not used so much, and the employer thought the girls
were ungrateful. But he was told the truth, “ No, they are not un­
grateful; but it is not theirs; it is yours; and they do not want your
conception of what they need, imposed on them; they would be
thankful for your meeting their needs, the first of which is sufficient
pay to keep them self-respecting in the world; after which, so far
as you can get together with them, meeting their viewpoint, good.
But never impose on them your own conception of their needs.”
Mr. W in s lo w . Last night we opened the conference with an ad­
dress by Mr. Clothier, who is a practical man doing a practical
piece of work; and we continued by listening to Prof. Person in a
very scholarly address, and one very much worth while. And we
have listened this morning to the secretary, who has had the advan­
tage of overseeing employees, and doing very wonderful things for
those employees; and I take it that you would now be better satisfied
to hear from some one who has something practical to offer, rather
than from me. We have with us this morning a man who could not
reach here last night. He has come, as he says, to learn all that he can
about employment managers’ problems, and to give all he can give in
return concerning his job, which happens to be that of employment
manager with the most widely advertised firm in the world. As I
said before, his is a very practical job. I have worked with him for
weeks, and with his associates for weeks, and I know something of
his problems, and therefore I know that you are going to be inter­
ested in the things that they do there, and I want to introduce to you
Mr. George Bundy, of the Ford Motor Co., Detroit.



PROCEEDINGS OP EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

63

WORK OP THE EMPLOYMENT DEPARTMENT OF THE FORD
MOTOR CO.
BY GEORGE BUNDY.

Employment Manager. *

Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen: I am here from Detroit—
landed this morning. I am not a speaker, but an employment man­
ager of the Ford Motor Co. I have with me the different forms that
I use in employing men at the Ford factories. As so many are try­
ing to get a position at the Ford Motor Co. nowadays, we find it
necessary to employ our men by application only. When every man
used to report for an interview personally, the crowd got so large
that we had to turn the hose on them to keep the crowd from break­
ing in one side of the building. Now, in employing men through
written applications, it does away with all the trouble and the
anxiety of seeking a position at the Ford factory. From every one
wishing a position at the factory we require a written application,
which is filed according to the occupation and in alphabetical order.
We are receiving now between two and three thousand applications
daily from men wishing employment. Every application is kept on
file. I have a card here, a postal card, which acknowledges every
application that we receive. I will read the card. It says:
In response to your recent inquiry, we regret to advise that we can offer
you no encouragement, as there are no vacancies in our factory at the present
time, but will file your application and notify you later on should we have a
position to offer you.

The reason we answer every application that way is to keep down
the anticipation of getting into our factories, and save disappointing
so many.
Then we may find that we need, for instance, possibly four
molders in our foundries. Maybe you would like to know how the
employment department knows that we have need of four molders.
We have a sort of requisition form which is used, so that the super­
intendent may know what help is coming in and what help is needed.
This form is filled out by the needy department and sent to him; he
O. K ’s it and it goes to the employment department. When the
employment department finds a molder, or more than one, is needed,



64

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

we slip our molder applications out of the file; and we have here a
card that we send out to those applicants, asking them to report.
We never want to take a man from another employer, so we word
that card like this, giving him the idea that it is simply a matter of
form, as we are revising our files:
Referring to your recent application. We are revising our files.
If you are out of work this card will act as a pass for an interview in our
employment department on Manchester Avenue, Highland Park, at your con­
venience.
Do not think because you get this card we are going to give you employment,
as this is in no way a promise of a job nor an assurance that you will later get
one. If working now, do not leave your position in order to come out and see us.
If not employed we will expect you to call between the hours o f ___ and___ —

So that we never have more than three or four at one time. I f a
man qualifies as a molder, it is up to my judgment as to whether or
not we are willing to give him a chance as a molder. He is then
passed, given an identification card he carries with him to our medi­
cal department. He passes from the same stenographer where his job
is given to him into the medical department, where the medical exami­
nation is performed. We never reject a man through the medical
department unless he has some contagious disease, and then he is
given a chance to clear that up. We have a stub or identification
ticket which bears the examination of the medical department. That
is detached and filed with his record in the office. So if there has
been anything wrong when he went to work, something that could be
passed, he can not ever come back at the company stating he had
gotten it at the Ford Motor Co.—something which he had when
he came in.

IDENTIFICATION TICKET
OF

No........

Name..

Commences............M .....................................
©

Department..........
Foreman.............
Hired by.............

A record of the employment is then made and he goes back to the
superintendent. The superintendent then O. K’s the employment
record, thus showing that the vacancy he reported has been filled.



PROCEEDINGS OP EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

65

FORD MOTOB COMPANY EMPLOYMENT RECOBD.

NO___________
Name___________
Present address __
Home address-----Married.
Age------------------..English.
Children________
Dependent on you
To what extent-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Have you ever worked for Ford Motor Co.?________________________________
Last employed---------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------Sight______________________________ —
Hearing----------------------------------------Have you any disease or permanent disability, or have you ever undergone any
surgical operation, broken bones, etc.?

I declare and warrant that the ansioers made herein are correct and true,
and that they shall form the basis and become part of my contract of employ­
ment, and that any untrue answers will render the contract null and void, and
I hereby elect to become subject to the provisions of act No. 10 of Public ActSy
extra session of 1912, of Michigan.

Signature--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Department__________________________Occupation_________ _______________
JSkill__________________________ .Foreman---------------------------------------K a t e |H o u r ly __________________________________ H ir e d b y ____________________________________

Date started_____________________ ____Time started_______________________
Memo_________________________________________________________________

After the workman is in the factory, we have a card here called
the “ Employee’s occupation record.” When the requisition for a
molder came in, we sent out a few more cards than we needed, figur­
ing that out of the number of cards sent out, some one could be ob­
tained to fill the place. Suppose we needed a core maker in our
foundry and a machinist reported. This machinist takes the job;
he is willing to do it, or do anything that he can, if he can’t get a job
in his own line. We have a card here which we give to him which he
fills out and returns to the office. It is filed, and later on when we
want a machinist we go to this fellow and he is advanced from the
place which he is in and later gets onto the machine. This card
reads as follows:
FORD MOTOR COMPANY EMPLOYEES.

We realize that quite a number of our men are qualified to do different work,
other than that at which they are at present engaged; in other words are
working out of their trades, or regular lines of employment, as followed pre­
vious to coming to work for this company.
Kindly fill out occupation record on the opposite side of this card, stating
just what you are best qualified to do, then bring record to the employment
department, as we may be able to use you to better advantage elsewhere.
F ord M o to r C om pan y,

Employment Department,

31856°—Bull. 196—16----- 5



66

BULLETIN OF THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.
e m p l o y e e ’ s o c c u p a t io n eecobd .

To be filled oat and returned to employment department.
Employee No.___________ Name-----------------------------------------------------------Address--------------------------------------------------------------------- Date----------------Nationality___________________________________________
Age----------------Employed In department__________________ Present occupation-----------------Trade, or kind of work best adapted for___________________________________
Extent of experience------------------------------------------------------------------------------[5 blank lines.]

This gives a man a chance, as was suggested here to-day; if he is
going to school and advancing himself in some of the local schools
teaching different trades, if he learns another trade, he can get one
of these cards, and by that we know that he is better qualified to hold
a better position than the one in which he is working.
I want to say one thing, that we do not employ men who are em­
ployed in other shops. You say, “ How do we know he is out of em­
ployment? ” I f we are hiring a man, we look up his record and
the last place he worked, and if he is not out of employment but it
is agreeable to his employers that we take him on and give him
employment at our factory, we do so at their request; otherwise he
is turned back to their shop to work.
We have an investigation system. I f a man is off without leave,
one of the surgeons or physicians or some one is sent from the em­
ployment department, and a list is turned into the employment de­
partment every morning and this list is turned over to our medical
department for investigation. They hunt up every man who is off.
I f he is sick, the doctor tells him what to do to get better. I f he is
off without any good excuse, he must report to the employment de­
partment and answer why he is off. This makes our absentee list
less than it would be if they were not looked up.




No............

Date.......... .......... 191..
EXCUSE

Name.............
Address........ .
Absent from..
Excuse........ .
[3 blank lines]
Signed.............................

PROCEEDINGS OF EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

6?

There used to be an old saying about trying to fit a square peg
into a round hole. It does not work very well. We try to overcome
that sort of thing at the Ford motor factories. Suppose a man comes
in there; he has a large family and he needs a job; will do almost
anything to get into the factory. He comes out there and wants to
run a machine. He may have put it over the employment man,
which I guess they all do—it is natural.
First, I will say that no foreman is permitted, throughout the
shop, to fire a man. He can fire him so far as his own department
is concerned, and we have a slip here to the employment department
that the foreman makes out, giving his complete reasons on the back
of the slip and sending the man down there if he is not satisfactory
in that department. Then it is up to the employment department, or
a committee consisting of the head of the employment department,
and the office manager, and an investigator, when necessary, and this
man is usually given an opportunity in another department.
TO EMPLOYMENT DEPARTMENT

No...............
Name.......... .................................................................
Occupation...................................................................
Date hired.................................................. .................
Hired as....................... ...............................................
(Over for foreman’s complete memo.)
EMPLOYMENT DEPARTMENT MEMO.

[6 blank lines]
Quit............

Discharged............

Good.................

Give notice............

Medium................

Poor................

Signed by foreman.........................................................
Dept.................................
Time

a

Date.........................191..

. M.

p. M.

FOREMAN’ S COMPLETE MEMO.

State full and accurate reasons why you can not use man.
Send latest identification ticket with memo.




PLEASE GET TOOL CLEARANCE

[17 blank lines]

68

BULLETIN OP TH E BUREAU OP LABOR STATISTICS.

REPORT OF PERSONS TRANSFERRED

Date........................ 191..

To the manager:

I HAVE TRANSFERRED

Name................. ...............................

No........

From the.......... .
To the...............
To take effect—
Reason.............
0. K.

Signed
Foreman

Supt.

He is also given a new identification ticket, and a good many will
start out in the factory, filing this slip in the employment department.
It is put up to him to make good, as we have this record against him.
When a man gets several of these slips we feel that there must be
something wrong with him, and then it is taken up with the manager
and the man is disposed of, or allowed to do some work that he can
perform, and he is kept on.
Usually in the shop when a man gets his pay at the office he gets
in his pay envelope some little advertisement—something printed on
the envelope or slip inside—telling him where he can buy the best
flour or shoes or get a good hat, or something like that. At the Ford
Motor Co. we have gotten up a little booklet containing the following:
SAFETY—HEALTH—BETTER LIVING.
Devoted to the Interest of Ford Employees.
M AKE THEM UNDERSTAND.

Many foreign workmen who can not speak English say “ Yes ” to almost every
question. They say “ Yes ” if they understand or not.
They don’t want anyone to know that they can’t understand. They may be
afraid of losing their jobs if they say they don’t understand. No man will lose
his job just because he can’t understand EngUsh.
Be sure all foreign workmen understand. Make them understand before leav­
ing them, so there will be no excuse for an accident on that account. Have them
repeat your orders, by word or actions.
When a foreigner says “ Yes,” don’t take it for granted that he knows what
you mean. Make him show you, so you know he knows. If he can not speak or
understand English, send his number to the English school. You wiU be doing
him a big favor.



PROCEEDINGS OF EMPLOYMENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

69

Keep up the fight on upturned nails. When you find a board with nails
sticking up, take it out of the way. You may step over it, but the other fellow
may not see it. “ Help the other fellow.”
SMALL CAUSES OF ACCIDENTS.

Nine out of every ten accidents could have been prevented by careful work.
Too many workmen are thoughtless of themselves and others working with them.
A man in the wood pattern shop took a saw guard off—now he is shy some
fingers. Another workman started a machine without looking to see if anyone
was in the way. An oiler got two fingers smashed as a result.
A workman was not looking where he was going. He bumped into a truck and
got a very bad cut on his arm. Somebody left some nails sticking up in a board;
a man stepped on them and got a bad hole in his foot.
Don’t wear shoes with thin soles. Be careful, and see that your neighbor is
careful, too. Help cut down the number of accidents.
Some day we will be so well trained that the man who is known to be careless
can not get a job.
When passing a loaded monorail car, give it plenty of room.
SLEEVES AND GLOVES.

D4266 wore gloves around a machine; lost two fingers, because one of the
gloves caught and pulled his hand into the machine.
One man got a sleeve caught in a machine. His shirt was torn off his back
before he got away. He might have been killed.
Be very careful about such things. You may be next.
B62 lost two fingers in a milling machine because he didn’t shut it off when
taking out the job. Carelessness will always cause trouble.
Don’t work around machinery with loose sleeves. Roll them up, or cut them
off at the elbows. Never wear gloves around revolving machinery. You are
sure to get caught some day and may lose a finger or even your whole hand.
It pays to be careful about sleeves and gloves.
The man on the job should be a thousand times more interested in “ Safety
first” than the owner of the factory. The owner may lose his business—the
man on the job may lose his life. Money can b§ made again; when life is gone,
you’re out.
COME TO THE ENGLISH SCHOOL.

Now is the time to come to Ford English school.
Many Ford workmen have already learned to speak English in the school.
They are better workmen. They get a fine diploma when they finish school.
Men who can speak English are not so apt to be hurt They don’t lose time
from accidents.
Ask your foreman about it.
ABOUT LIFE IN SUBAN CE.

Some insurance agents have been telling our men that the Ford Company
requires you to take out insurance policies.
That is not true. The company does not compel its workmen to have any kind
of insurance. Insurance is a good thing, but you don’t have to take it.



70

BULLETIN OP THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

It is good for a man to invest part of his share of profits in life insurance. A
man who is not receiving a share of profits can’t afford to take a policy. Wait
until you get more pay.
Don’t let any agent tell you that you have to take insurance to hold your job.
Don’t sign any papers. If you think you want some insurance, come up and see
the legal department about it.
You don’t have to take insurance, but it is a good way to use some of your
share of profits.
Lending money without security is a sure way to give something for nothing.
Brain in a factory is worth more than horsepower.
SAFETY FIRST W IT H MONEY.

Many workmen are careless about money matters. Money lost is thrown away.
Use care with your money while you are getting good pay, so you will have
money for bad times. Money saved now makes a happy old age for you and
yours.
A foreigner in this factory had $325 taken from his pocket. It was the savings
of years. He was going to send it to the old country, so his family could come
here. Now they can not come to this country for a long time.
Put your money in a State or national bank. It will be safe. When you want
to pay money, use a check. Then no one can steal it, because it is hard for the
wrong man to use your check.
Ask the man at the bank; he will tell you how to use a check. Don’t take any
chances by carrying money in your pocket. Someone may rob you next.

Anyone is liable to make mistakes. The wise man profits by his, but the fool
will make the same mistake again.
HEALING OF WOUNDS.

Wounds heal very fast if they are clean. Clean means without dirt and also
clean of germs.
Germs are often on the skin and on the tool or whatever causes the wound.
When they are not cleaned out of the wound at once, blood poisoning may result.
The best way to prevent blood poisoning is to clean the wound at once. Then
keep it clean by covering with a clean piece of linen which has been boiled, or a
piece of sterile gauze, and hold firmly in place with a bandage.
To clean a wound, wash with gasoline, taking plenty of time and using a piece
of clean linen to wash with. Clean the skin all around the wound and wash into
the wound. Then paint the wound and the surrounding skin with tincture of
iodine. Iodine kills the germs at once.
If there is no gasoline or iodine handy, wash the wound thoroughly with
alcohol and put on a piece of clean linen wringing wet with alcohol.
No cut is so small that you can afford to neglect it.

It is on safety, health, and better living. Every two weeks we put
these in the envelope for the men. I would say, though, that we have
a pay day every day, because we pay our men in relays and it makes
a pay day for somebody every day. But each man gets paid every



PROCEEDINGS OF EMPLOYMENT MANAGERS, CONFERENCE.

71

two weeks. There are so many employees that we have to have a
pay day every day. Usually, when a man gets his pay envelope he
has a few minutes to himself, he will sit down and read this little
booklet through and we think it is a good thing.
We have also a “ Ford English School,” where a diploma is given
when a man graduates. A number of employees devote their time
to teaching the foreigners English, an hour and a half twice a week;
they work only eight hours, and the hour and a half extra makes
nine and a half. Men in the shop in Detroit work 10 hours and
they are getting off a half hour earlier, even putting in this hour
and a half at their studies. We don’t have any difficulty at all about
having those fellows come to school, because they are going to find
what is in it, and the teachers voluntarily give their time in teaching
them English, and when they are through they are given a diploma
from the Ford English School.
We are making citizens out of them by teaching them English,
and we figure that if you can make a citizen out of a foreigner, and
teach him to be a good citizen of this country, and make a good
American out of him, it is doing a good work. We try to teach
them the best way of living, and all that sort of thing. I have a
few pictures here, which will give you an idea of some things our
investigators have found when they started out to investigate a
man. You wouldn’t believe them if you didn’t see the pictures, or
see the thing itself. We have books here showing the different pic­
tures of places, the wrong way of living and the right way of living.
I f you wish to ask any question on the labor turnover, Mr. Winslow
is well qualified to answer them. He has spent some time with me in
Detroit and we would rather have him give you the exact figures as
he has them.
Now, I heard something here of the courses of the shop here in
teaching boys different trades. Usually, as we all know, it takes a
man four to six years to learn the trade of a machinist. We have
a school where we teach the boys drawing an hour and half twice a
week. They have their work for eight hours and by letting them
work in the tool room and giving them this schooling—three days a
week—we find that we can make a competent toolmaker of a man
or teach him a trade inside of two years. We have one man that
went to school 18 months. We have one man that is just as good
as any of them in the tool room, and he has been 18 months in this
school. I thank you.




72

BU LLETIN OB' TH E BUREAU OP LABOR STATISTICS.

DISCUSSION.

Mr. B lo o m fie ld . Mr. Winslow will open the discussion by giving
us the turnover figures of the Ford Motor Co.
Mr. W in s l o w . I understand I am just to answer questions. In
1913, a normal year, and a normal season, the Ford Motor Co. had
13,000 employees at work. Its turnover was 56,000 people, meaning
those that were fired, those that left voluntarily, and those that were
laid off—up to the number of 56,000. The following year, to keep a
normal number of 15,000, their turnover was less than half. In the
last six months, just prior to October 1, they had discharged only
seven men. It is true that men leave the Ford Motor Co., but the
reasons for leaving are something like this: With the knowledge that
one can get $5 a day and an eight-hour day, men leave their jobs
in the city of Detroit and outlying districts, believing they can
earn that $5 a day. Do not understand that they are going to
get $5 when they enter, because they are not; they are put on pro­
bation, as it were. However, when they do reach the time where
they can earn $5 per day, many of them—often many who have
been measuring ribbon, perhaps, and doing other such things in
life—find that they can not, in the language.of the shop, “ stand
the gaff ” and they immediately resign their $5 job. In other words
they would rather go back to the ribbon counter for $12 or $15 a
week than to stand what is necessary to become efficient in the Ford
Motor Co. So that the turnover is decreasing so far as the men being
discharged is concerned—you must not misunderstand that men do
not leave; they do, but not in great numbers.
Mr. Filene said to be short, and I am lots shorter than I wanted
to be.
Mr. F ile n e . I understood that we were going to hear from the
labor contingent this morning.
Mr. B lo o m fie ld . The chair would most heartily welcome a state­
ment from Mr. Hall, if he is here at this time, or at any time, so
far as this conference is concerned, or from anybody designated by
Mr. Hall.
Mr. T T a t . t - The different papers as submitted last night, together
with the splendid offerings this morning, lend considerable encour­
agement to those interested in the movement, or in the recognition
at least as to some of the conditions which men get together for the



PROCEEDINGS OF EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS * CONFERENCE.

73

purpose of remedying. As illustrated last night, I think in the
second paper, where it was found by the management that one thing
that tended to greater efficiency was sunshine and light and better
conditions generally—that is something we have always contended
for, and we were often very much criticized for calling attention
to conditions of that kind in the various working places. It all
tends to bear out, at least, this statement that is often made by rep­
resentatives of labor, that there are inhuman conditions, such as long
hours, insanitary working places, and workers who are underpaid
or who are paid low wages. It is gratifying to find that these em­
ployment managers are realizing that there is a human side in in­
dustry, that the worker needs just as much attention in order to
carry out his task as does the machine on which he works. I be­
lieve, if it has not been done yet, that they will still, in furthering
their investigations, find that there is another part of the work which
will still prove beneficial and that the factory with insanitary con­
ditions and poor work places, as well as low wages, will be
eliminated. It will mean that the better conditions must obtain in
the home, and I believe when industry realizes that good, safe, sani­
tary working places must be provided, as well as at least a living
wage, that the thought as expressed here last night by one of our
university professors, speaking of what he called the Taylor sys­
tem—we won’t need any of them—but that men and women as well
will naturally become efficient, whereby industry will profit as well
as labor.
Mr. B lo o m fie ld . I would like to ask Mr. Hall if any of his col­
leagues wish to say a word before we go on with the general dis­
cussion?
Mr. H a l l . We have nothing more to say this morning.
Dr. B e n ja m in C. G r u e n b e r g (of New York City). I want to
ask Dr. Prosser if he would not also suggest in his proposition
relative to the employment managers’ association, that when they
form such an association, they shall also embody in their rules
that this association shall recognize the right not only of employers
to work together as an advantage, but recognize the right of the
employees to demand of that association collective bargaining, and
let the workers not individually, but as a whole, obtain their worth.
I would like to ask whether he would agree to include that or
whether he thinks that would be right or just.
Mr. B l o o m f ie l d . Dr. Prosser is out. You have brought up a very
important and fundamental question of policy for the employment
managers’ association, and it is very hard to answer from any experi­
ence that we have acquired with the associations that we have had
anything to do with. There are two things which have been driven
home into the fundamental policy of the employment managers’



74

BULLETIN OP THE BUBEAU OP LABOB STATISTICS.

association. These associations are not supposed to take the place
of manufacturers’ associations or trades or any other industrial
bodies that choose to organize. They are not intended to perform
a function in industry. The study of the human problem by those
closest to the sources of construction and ways, or those who hare
had the closest touch with the employment managers—it is im­
possible for them to study or get that light except as they are in
relationship with the workers, which will give them the knowledge
they need. We have taken the position in the three or four associa­
tions that I personally had a hand in launching that as regards
individuals—that is, individual employees—the association under no
circumstances would be permitted to discuss individual employees.
The moment an association of employment managers takes ad­
vantage of its organization and collective strength to single out
an individual employee in any plant, it is on the way to become
so dangerous an instrument of oppression that it had better be
“ busted” up right away; and it is bound to “ bust.” There is no
need of worrying about that; the association has too many other
valuable interests at stake to risk any such foolish procedure. That
is policy number one. The association is there to make fundamental
studies, to learn the fundamental principles there are, to be imper­
sonal, objective, scientific, if you will.
I do not believe that you will find an employment managers’ asso­
ciation, unless it masquerades under what we regard as an essentially
social movement, in the field of employment. I do not think you will
find them monkeying with what is likely to lead to the abuses of
blacklisting and oppression.
Second. What should be the policy of such an association with
regard to organized labor?
We have taken and laid down the fundamental policy, and it has
proved agreeable to labor representatives in the communities, that,
so far as a shop is concerned, it has no policy with regard to or­
ganized labor. It is the business of the workers in a given industry
and their friends, and those in every given industry, to settle the
question of collective bargaining. You can not take a group of mis­
cellaneous industries or manufacturers and get them, without mixing
things up, to take a stand. They can not take a stand; they have no
right to take a stand; if they took any stand whatever, my advice
would be that they take a frank interest and get a just view of the
situation by seeing that collective bargaining is absolutely essential
to successful management.
The employment managers’ associations come from groups of all
kinds of industries and businesses, some of which have not even the
germs of a trade organization, and you can see why it is absolutely



PROCEEDINGS OF EMPLOYMENT MANAGERS’ CONFERENCE.

75

essential that, so far as labor policies go, the employment associations
can take no stand; that is not because it is a labor policy; the em­
ployment managers could not take a stand on anything. It is a con­
ference body, not an executive body. It is a body instructing those
in the job of handling employees. I f it does not learn what or­
ganized labor is, it will be half baked in its judgment on a labor
situation. There is no secrecy and no possibility of mistake as to
what is fundamental in that organization—they can not take a stand.
Should they go up and fight legislation, or approve legislation?
It would be disastrous for an employment managers’ association to
go up and favor or oppose a bill, because the employment managers’
associations are there to compare experiences and find out what is
right, what the mistakes are, how they can regulate employment, how
to devise a fair wage basis, how to open avenues of promotion, how
to cooperate with the schools—that is what I am getting at—in re­
gard to the labor policy; the employment managers are supposed to
be studying, learning from one another and from outside. They
would defeat the purpose of such an association if they began to take
a position in an organized way which would commit all of them
and all kinds of industries to a final judgment.
The employment managers’ association must be a forum of infor­
mation and experience, paralleled by research and development, look­
ing openly into the questions. Therefore there can be no such thing
as the indorsement by the employment managers’ association of any
given proposition, particularly a controversial proposition.
You have heard my viewpoint. I think collective bargaining is
essential. That is what the employment managers’ group is for—
to thrash these things out by those whose business it is to know.
Question. In the many things that you have said that the em­
ployment managers’ association must do, and remembering what our
honorable speaker, Mr. Redfield, said, that these suggestions must
come from the workers, if this employment association is going to
defend the many policies you have outlined here, or attempt to
defend the many things mentioned, how can they do it if they do
not have that representation from the employees in their confer­
ences? The managers’ association will be an organization that
will view it entirely from the viewpoint of employers, without
any means of consideration on the part of employees. It must be
met and taken into consideration, if there is a successful manage­
ment; if the employment managers’ association is going to stand
aloof from the representation, I do not think the result will be ac­
complished that they hope for. In other words, my point is this:
Regardless of what stand is taken by the industries, they must take
into consideration, they must permit them to say what is true, “ We



76

BULLETIN OP THE BUREAU OP LABOR STATISTICS.

give to industry all we have. Industry invests its dollars, but the
laborer invests all he ha^— labor.” And we say we must have an
his
opportunity if we are going to have successful management.
In other words, regardless of what you may adopt as a policy on
what are the rules and regulations of a shop governing employees,
they will be put in force to the extent that the employees are en­
tirely agreeable to them, because the employees can beat any plan or
any system in any shop unless there is a mutual arrangement, and we
want to know why we are not going to participate in these things if
we are essential to these big problems. I am merely speaking from a
working boy’s standpoint; I am a machinist by trade.
Mr. F ile n e . I think the best answer you could get to that is what
is happening in this room now. That is what the employers’ asso­
ciations are intended to do. We are beginning to realize that these
are questions that may be considered and studied, and that is what
is happening here; that is what the employment managers’ associa­
tion is for; we need these expressions of opinion from everybody,
so that finally in the next 5 or 10 or 15 years we will get some en­
lightenment as to what the relations shall be between the employee
and employer, between industry and society. Society has as much
right to ask that question as you have or as I have, as an employer.
Society finally pays the price for everything that goes wrong, and
is interested in working conditions and in working these questions
out to a proper solution. Society is interested in the child-labor
movement, just as much as labor or the employer is interested. It
is just for that reason that this employment managers’ association
has been started. And this question that is brought out here; this
is just the kind of thing that should come before us. That is what
we came to Minneapolis fo r; we hoped that that was going to happen;
that these very questions would come up, so that Minneapolis could
see what there is to encourage the development of the employment
managers’ association; and we are getting just what we want, and we
hope it will keep up until everybody gets a clear conception of this
important movement.
Question. It does not seem to me that a discussion of this kind is
enough. It seems to me that a representative of the employees should
enter into the very heart of the employment managers’ association
plan. It is not enough to have an occasional conference. It seems
to me the point this gentleman has made is an excellent one and that
the representative of the laborer, of the workingman, should enter
all the time, not merely occasionally. It is not enough to pay him
compliments. He must have an active part all the time in working
out the problem. I am very much interested in it from the school
standpoint, and it does not seem to be human nature that a number
of employment managers can get together and can, even with all



PROCEEDINGS OP EMPLOYMENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

77

those rules, avoid all those ticklish and delicate questions of em­
ployment, no matter how much their rules may lead them in that
direction. It is perfectly natural in a group such as that to discuss
particular problems which concern their work, and undoubtedly they
will make recommendation, so far as industrial education is con­
cerned in the school. I f they are going to make recommendations,
so far as industrial education in the schools is concerned, I do not
see how these questions can be entirely fair. They should bear in
mind the large part which labor must play in the development of
industrial education and have these meetings right along, not
occasionally, and as an integral part, representations of employees.
Dr. G r u e n b e r g . The question of the labor turnover is something
that concerns employees as much as employers. It is particularly a
matter of adjustment and training, and there is a spiritual factor,
recognized by many speakers as fundamental. We speak of it as
loyalty. The worker who is not loyal is a burden to the community,
but the worker who is not loyal is something more than useless to an
employer; he is also unhappy in his daily life and work and finally
he is a poor citizen; he is not living up to his ideas of mutual re­
sponsibility in his contracts with other people. Now, I assume that
the community is all right to demand that work be done more eco­
nomically than it is done in solving the burden of the disloyal
worker. I assume that the workers themselves have a right to de­
mand that the management of the work be organized so that it is
possible for the worker to be enthusiastic and loyal. Then the worker
and the community have the right to demand that there be no
temptation in his way to soldier, or to sham. It is not entirely a sub­
jective thing to “ soldier on the job ” ; it is a matter of conditions,
from without. The worker has a right to demand that the work he
is doing shall contribute to the fullness of his life, just as your work
and my work does. And these things it is quite possible, through the
employment managers’ association, through better training and. selec­
tion, and especially through the selection of the employment man­
agers, to secure. We can have more tactful management and more
consideration and better personality, and thus secure a good imita­
tion of loyalty, but in the end your workers will have to have a defi­
nite share in the management of their daily lives and their workings,
and their work is their daily life. They are not content to rely upon
the sincerity or the considerateness or the tactfulness of managers;
it will not encourage them to be contented. Now, the “handling”
of men may simply mean another way of saying “ bad handling.”
The management is not going to be effective in the long run unless it
is cooperative, and cooperation does not mean consulting the workers
occasionally; it does not mean welfare work; it means working to­
gether; the workingman can do that only through his organization.



78

BULLETIN OF TH E BUEEAU OF LABOB STATISTICS.

It is out of the question for the workers to be consulted individually,
because if they do not “ hang together ” they will “ hang separately.”
They have got to be consulted collectively, and throughout this dis­
cussion the idea has been that the employment managers are the
managers in the thoroughly modified sense—no opportunity to be
heard should be looked upon as a concession; and so far as collective
dealing itself is concerned, however generous or fair-minded the em­
ployers, unless it is an automatic part of the machinery, you do not
have cooperation.
One more question in relation to something Mr. Filene said last
night. It seemed to me that Mr. Filene attacked a very fundamental
question. The indication was that the next thing was to have man­
agers who know how to organize and conduct an industry. Atten­
tion was called to the fact that in normal times there is a fixed
ratio of unemployment. A part of this is due to maladjustment—
not fitted for the work, physical incapacity, psychological condi­
tions of one kind or another; but after all your workers are trained
you have not the machinery for keeping people employed all the time.
We are discussing unemployed, nonemployed, unemployment, nonem­
ployment, etc., and we are overlooking the fundamental fact that
the person unemployed, speaking generally, is not unemployed be­
cause of unfitness. Unfitness or lack of training does not determine
the quantity, does not determine the employment. It determines
only the existence of nonemployment. I f the lack of employment was
a matter of training, you have not solved it by your training; you
have simply determined that the unemployed shall be capable people.
We are evading the whole question of the distribution of work and
income according to people’s wants. It is up to the workers, and
they are not doing enough of a day’s work to give us what we need.
It is up to the managers to organize the work so as to get the maxi­
mum result from the least effort. I do not know whose fault it is
just now, but at normal times there is a certain fixed proportion
or at least a minimum of unemployed.
Mr. W in s lo w . I won’t attempt to answer the question which was
not asked of me, but there are two things that they have done in some
of the cities where the employment managers’ associations are organ­
ized, and my trade-unionist friend has never been hampered by the
particular kind of things that others have, and he does not realize
because he has been a mechanic and knew how to go and apply for
a job and get one, the disadvantage of the other fellow. I, however,
have in mind the fellow who wants a job and who goes to an em­
ployment office and tells the man he wants a job; and he is directed
to another employer, or, rather, to another employment manager’s
office and finally gets a job. There was a time in certain cities when
the rake-off for getting that job was very large. I know cities now



PROCEEDINGS OP EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS* CONFERENCE.

79

where that does not happen, but there were times when there were as
many employment offices as there were comers, and there was a good
opportunity for rake-offs in handing men out to employers. Con­
sciously or unconsciously the employment managers’ associations have
eradicated that particular evil. The other thing is, the employment
managers have seen to it that in the busy season particularly they
can not rob another employer of his people, and they have had to go
to work and train their own employees, and they have done it. That
is two things that they have done.
Mr. C o g a n . The idea of the employment club in Chicago was con­
ceived simultaneously, and it was brought about by the people who
were interested in educational work through the board of educa­
tion, the association of commerce, and it was the first one to suggest
the idea of placement, rather than any definite policy. We had
our first meeting last July. At that meeting we had eight repre­
sentatives, and since that time we have had a very consistent growth,
and our membership now is 25 or 30, among them the representatives
of the largest utility and industrial corporations in the city. As
Mr. Filene suggested, or as Mr. Bloomfield remarked, the movement
is still so young that none of the associations throughout the coun­
try have adopted any policy at all, because it has been simply a sym­
pathetic group.
And this is just the plan we evolved in Chicago; we got together,
and discussed our problem, and after having conferred once or
twice, we saw what the possibilities were and we believe we are fol­
lowing a fairly good line, that we can have a good, live, strong as­
sociation, and get the cooperation of everybody, both employer and
employee, and we are the pioneers, as has been stated. We, in Chi­
cago, have not adopted any policy; we do not know what it will be;
we are just getting together and discussing the thing. Undoubt­
edly, sooner or later, we will come to these questions and I suggest
that we go through this period of development and at the end of
that time I am sure that it will be satisfactory to all. That is the
way I feel about it.
Mr. B e n ja m in F. F o rd . This discussion reminds me of a statement
made by a “ captain of finance” sometime ago, that it was a very
hard matter to unscramble an egg. The answer is, “ Eat the egg.”
Now, it appears to me that the way to unscramble this egg this morn­
ing is to feel that the employers’ associations and the men have got
to get together on some common basis so that they can have confidence
in each other and in each institution, each factory, each community.
Every problem has a local issue and is a local problem. I f you
come here and discuss it as an academic proposition, and try to
lay down rules that will hold good in Minneapolis or hold good in
Detroit or hold good in the Ford factories, or in some factory in New



80

BU LLETIN OP TH E BUBEAU OP LABOB STATISTICS.

York, you are going outside of the point. But now, for instance, in
my own institution in Detroit, Cass Technical High School, I am the
overhead manager. There are several departments, and the way I
manage these things is to get the students together and say, “ Here
boys and girls”—and by the way human nature is the same thing
to-day as it was 2,000 years ago, and it always will be—I say, “ Boys
and girls, your interest is mine; I want your confidence and you
need mine; now then, go to work and appoint representative mem­
bers of your body and form a students’ council. I f you have any
complaints, or any grievances, or any suggestions, for the benefit of
yourselves or for the benefit of this institution, I want to hear from
you.” And in that way we have established mutual relations of
confidence.
M r . M e t e r s . Of course, the problem to-day has been the relation
of employers to industrial education, and it has been delightfully
interesting. I am very happy in the fact that labor has asked,
“ What is our part ?” It is a triangle. I like to think of it as a man
going down the street in a sulky, resting upon two wheels; one wheel
is the employer, the other wheel is the wage earner, and they are
tied together by the same axle, which is industrial education. The
whole proposition must rest, in industrial education, upon a quality
of thinking, quality of operation and cooperation on the part of the
laborer and the employer. The National Association of Employers
is absolutely unwilling to proceed in any project of industrial edu­
cation except upon the requirement that labor participate in each
problem; and every problem is of equal opportunity and of equal
interest to all. We can not go down the road, whether it is on a
sulky or on foot, except arm and arm with this proposition.
Prof. W il l it s . The employment managers’ association of Phila­
delphia was organized by the city with a view to getting employers to
accept a larger degree of responsibility for unemployment. There
had been already established a public bureau, and a number of other
things have been done, but they recognize that the responsibility for
steady employment must rest with individual concerns. I can not go
so very far into the work, but I do want to say a few things which to
me indicate something with reference to the question asked, that the
spirit of that association is that it shall fairly include the workingman. O f course, the thing that led to this institution was unem­
ployment, so this was one of the first indications that they intended
to bring about results to the advantage of the laborer as well as the
employer. One of the employers put it up to us—if he joined the
association what assurance would there be that it was not simply
one more employers’ association? What assurance would there be,
also, to the unions, that it might not be a blacklisting organization?



PROCEEDINGS OF EM PLOYM ENT MANAGERS’ CONFERENCE.

81

And as a result of that and our instant recognition that that was a
proper stand to take, we agreed that every firm had a right to bring
members of unions from their plants to attend the meetings. That
does not indicate any established policy, but it does indicate a will­
ingness to cooperate.
Secondly, our programs so far have been very largely chosen to
show that we have not worked out a policy of having labor repre­
sentation, and the suggestion has been made and favorably received
that they let it go by for the present. The suggestion has been
made that we shall have, particularly with regard to the labor turn­
over, one meeting in which we should have a union man, a repre­
sentative, present, to point out what they think is responsible and
give the thing from their side, rather than have it all talked some­
what academically, or from the view point of the manufacturers.
The third thing that we have done: We have a workmen’s com­
pensation law in Pennsylvania, and a great many of the employers
were up in the air about it and they wanted some things changed
about it, so we had a meeting devoted to that. We found that there
was one group o f employers who were unable to carry compensation
themselves, and it was thought that the object of that employers’
association was to bring the cost down to the lowest possible figure,
and not unnecessarily burden them, and it was found that there was a
sentiment concerning the increase in rates and perhaps having the
workmen’a compensation law wiped entirely off the map. We feel
that our meetings are going to have some good results, but of course
there is not time for me to tell you about them here.
Mr. B lo o m fie ld . Has anybody any suggestion to put before the
conference, which is now about to adjourn ?
Prof. W il l it s . I think there should be some measure taken which
will look toward a representation of this conference, if not anything
further, and certainly a committee appointed to confer with the
Chamber of Commerce of the United States and report as to the
best thing to be done. We had a letter read to us yesterday from the
president of that association. I might say personally that I came
here as a representative of our association, to go back to report to
them. At first I was doubtful whether I would have enough specific
things to make an interesting discussion for an evening. But I am
beginning to wonder now how I will be able properly to cover all the
interesting matters that have been laid before us, in an evening. 1
would like to make a motion that the Chair appoint a committee of
five to take up the letter of President Fahey, with a view of seeing
what further cooperation can be established and endeavor to con­
sider what plans for future conferences might be agreed upon.
(Motion seconded.)
31856°—Bull. 196—16----- 6



82

BULLETIN OP THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS.

Prof. W i l l i t s . I take it that the committee will write to all whose
names have been turned in here as those interested in such confer­
ences, giving the results of that interview.
Mr. B lo o m fie ld . Do I understand that the committee is to have
power to settle whatever may seem to be best for the interest of the
cause we are met for?
Prof. W i l l i t s . I think it might be better to give them power to
reach their own conclusions as to. what is best, and to report to an­
other conference, which they may call whenever they may deem it
wise.
(Motion seconded.)
Mr. B lo o m fie ld . Y o u have all heard the motion and the interpre­
tation of the spirit in which it is made. Those in favor of that action
say “ aye ” ; opposed, “ no.”
(Motion unanimously carried.)
Mr. B lo o m fie ld . The motion is unanimously carried that the
Chair shall name a committee which shall consider the best plans for
carrying out the purpose of this conference.
I want to thank all of you who have made the conference possible,
and in so thanking you I think I speak for the association, which
now stands adjourned.
The Chair will be glad to take advice from all who wish to make
suggestions as to the five to be appointed, and those whose names
are called will hear from this committee in due time.
(Meeting adjourned sine die.)