Don’t go to the job that isn’t there

John Stout • Apr 7, 2019 at 12:00 AM

"During the First World War, there was a tendency on the part of employers to call for workers before the jobs were ready. This often resulted in a loss of time and money to workmen that further crippled important war industries.

"In occasional instances, workers have been drawn from all over the country and then, because the employees had been premature in their recruiting, they had to tell the men, "We may need you next month. That was not good news."

"To do away with unnecessary shifting often, the Government had organized the U.S. Employment Services as a part of the Department of Labor. It had 500 branches, officers and 20,000 U.S. Public Service Enrollment Agents covering the United States.

"It had definite knowledge of all manufacturing conditions and labor requirements the country over. The Government urged every man then employed in useful work to stick to his job. That was critically important.

"Shifting about was costly to all, but if a man was out of work or if he felt that a change in employment was necessary, he was urged to consult the U.S. Employment Service immediately.

"To win the war, the Government had to have maximum production in all war industries to support our Army in France. Every worker wanted to do all he could to help.

"Therefore, the use of the U.S. Employment Service, when seeking employment, was a patriotic service and duty. Always make use of the nearest office or agent."

President's Statement

"Industry plays an essential and honorable role in this great struggle as do our military armaments. We all recognize the truth of this, but we must also see its necessary implications, namely, that industry during a vital task for the nation.

"Therefore, I solemnly urge all employers engaged in war work to refrain after August 1, 1918, from recruiting unskilled labor in any manner except through this central agency.

"I urge labor to respond as loyally as heretofore to any calls issued by this agency for voluntary enlistment in essential industry.

"And I ask them both alike to remember that no sacrifice will have been made in vain, if we are able to prove beyond all question that the highest and best form of efficiency in the spontaneous co-operation of a free people."

— United States Employment Service

Reach Bob Cox at [email protected] or go to www.bcyesteryear.com.

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