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roll in the past year. A jewelry factory in Somerville reports that 5 out of every 6 workers leave in a year; another says the whole force shifts every year. Employers in all three cities say that a large proportion of the workers is continually fluctuating. The monotonous repetition of work, inability to meet the demands of the trade, inefficiency, discouragement, and the seasonal fluctuation are producing an army of fluctuating, unskilled, low-paid workers which involves many industrial, economic, and social complications. Large establishments in the three cities are attempting to solve the problem by various methods. None has yet attempted to solve the problem through systematic training of their workers.
While these general conditions of a phase of the so-called social unrest prevail from city to city, the relief is so closely associated with the industrial opportunity that local study at once becomes imperative. What the schools are doing, what the children are needing, what the business establishments are demanding, seems to be uniform from community to community. What the school can do, what the family may expect, seems to depend on the industrial character of each locality.
Although the work for young girls is unskilled in all large factory industries, the processes open to the more mature women may require a certain degree of skill or manual dexterity and offer a correspondingly higher wage.
A study of the women-employing industries of Worcester and Cambridge shows that the largest industries which employ women do require some skill. Machine operating on clothing occupies almost one-half of the women working in factories in Worcester. Rubber goods, bookbinderies, and presses employ almost one-half the women working in Cambridge. There are, however, practically no provisions in the trade for training or preparing the beginner for the more skilled processes. The result is large waste, incompetence, and instability of the labor force, and scarcity of skilled workers.
The necessity for local study is well illustrated by the differences in these three cities. Worcester is the third manufacturing city of New England, with a population of more than 145,000. It is a political, industrial, and social entity, resulting in a lack of interchange of work and workers with Boston. It is, on the other hand, near enough to Boston to give opportunity for an interchange of custom and customers. Therefore, although the more skilled trades have a great insufficiency of skilled workers, the city is too far away to draw workers daily from Boston. Because of the lack of highgrade work, however, the wealthy people of Worcester come to Boston for their more expensive costumes.
Cambridge, a city of more than 100,000 inhabitants, presents a different situation. Although a political entity, it is industrially and
economically dependent on the various surrounding cities, as they are in turn dependent on Cambridge. This results in an exchange of work and worker, as well as of custom and customer. Cambridge, therefore, sends out skilled and unskilled workers to surrounding cities. Her large factories, on the other hand, employ women not only from Cambridge, but from surrounding cities. The university draws large numbers of transient residents. Its suburban character makes it the residence of many people who work in Boston. Such conditions partially explain the large development of laundries in Cambridge, which employ a large number of women. Its suburban character partially explains the investment of Boston and outside capital in large factories.
Somerville, a city of more than 77,000 inhabitants, is primarily a residence suburb. Only a few, small, scattering, low-grade industries exist. Although a political entity, Somerville is an industrial and economic dependency of Boston, Cambridge, and surrounding cities. It sends its skilled and its unskilled workers out to surrounding commercial and manufacturing cities.
The women-employing industries of Worcester show a tendency to group in four large divisions: Machine operating, textiles, wire and metal goods, and envelopes and paper goods. The first group only, the machine-operating trades, offers opportunity to a large number for a medium degree of skill and wage. The highly skilled trades, dressmaking and millinery, show little development. They employ and offer opportunity to only a comparatively small number.
The women-employing industries of Cambridge show greater diversity, though rubber goods and bookbinderies employ more than 40 per cent of the women working in Cambridge. The highly skilled trades show very little development. The women-employing industries of Somerville are practically negligible.
What significance have these conditions for the problem of industrial training in each of the three cities?
In Worcester, the machine-operating trades employ large numbers of workers. There is a great scarcity of help. Training therefore in machine operating for a large number of girls would seem to benefit the worker by preparing her for the more skilled processes of the trade. A knowledge of the operation of the machine would lift the worker over the preliminary stages of unskilled work which prove a great sifting process and are a fundamental cause of instability of the workers. The skilled trades need only a small number of beginners each year, hence only a few should be trained for the shop. A large number of dressmakers are day workers or private workers. The problem for solution is to equip young girls for this
1 Machine operating is used in this study to indicate the manufacture of corsets and other women's wear as a factory product.
broader field of the day worker, without the intermediary experience in the shop.
In Cambridge and Somerville the skilled trades show very little development, but Boston offers opportunity for prospective workers. Training might therefore well be offered in dressmaking and millinery. The workers can secure their preliminary experience in the shops of Boston and later return to their home town as independent workers, as the shops of Boston provide the intermediate as well as the advanced stage for the girls trained in dressmaking and millinery in Cambridge and Somerville. In Worcester that opportunity is lacking. The large industries of Cambridge offer little opportunity for training outside the factory. Boston, again, offers opportunity for the worker who is capable of a medium degree of skill and who must acquire immediate economic independence or partial independence. The machine-operating factories of Boston are in great need of skilled workers. The young girls of Cambridge and Somerville may well be trained and find opportunity for development in these factories of Boston.
Local conditions need careful study therefore in determining the character of trade training or continuation schools. Worcester has a purely local problem. Public money expended in training and developing her young prospective workers gives returns in more efficient workers, greater stability, and better social and economic conditions for the wealth-producing industries of the city. Cambridge and Somerville will necessarily be training and developing workers for the industries of other surrounding cities. Worcester need concern herself with the problem of part-time instruction in her own local industries only. Cambridge and Somerville must con
. cern themselves with the problem of their workers in surrounding cities. Worcester is an independent entity from an educational, economic, and industrial point of view. Cambridge and Somerville can not become independent from an educational point of view any more than they can from an economic or industrial standpoint. Only by intensive cooperation with surrounding cities, therefore, can the people of Cambridge and Somerville meet the needs and demands of the girl.
There are advantages, however, as well as disadvantages in the dependence on surrounding cities. The workers of an industrially independent city like Worcester may be deprived of opportunity for development and experience in highly skilled trades. The workers of an industrially dependent city may have the advantage of access to the skilled trades of a neighboring city.
A knowledge of local conditions is therefore essential before action can be taken in the establishment of trade training or parttime schools. Satisfactory results and efficient work can come only
with a thorough understanding and careful consideration of existing conditions, needs, and opportunities in localities where such schools are to be established. A knowledge of the processes of the trade, the possibilities of cooperation between school and industry, the natural ability of the children and what they can do in the schools and in the factory, is necessary to enlightened policy. Interest on the part of the community as well as close cooperation with those who control the industrial situation is essential to success.
I. THE METHOD OF INVESTIGATION.
A brief survey of the methods and sources of information used in the study of a single city with a view to discovering the need of and opportunity for industrial training is presented as showing the validity of the study, and as suggestive for future study for similar purposes.
Two schedules were used-one for the interview with the individual and one for the interview with the employer.
(A) The individual schedule was drawn up by the deputy commissioner of education and was “designed to be used by schools for the primary purpose of ascertaining the probable number and identity of the girls who may become pupils in a free public trade school if one should be organized in the future."
This schedule was planned to cover three types of pupils: (1) the pupil who has left school within the past school year; (2) The pupil over 14 who is still in school, and (3) the pupil between 13 and 14 who is still in school. (See accompanying blank.)
(City or town.)
Pupil who has left school......
(Indicate by the mark (X) which of the above describes the pupil named below.)
(Blank for use in investigating the need for the industrial training of girls.) 1. Name of pupil... 2. Date of birth....
Age last birthday. 4. Parents' or guardian's name. 5. Nationality of father..
Of mother.... 6. Place of residence.. 7. Present or last year in school.. 8. Type of pupil: (a) Application.
; (b) Scholarship....... (c) Conduct...
(Use the terms good, fair, and unsatisfactory.)
9. Health and strength:
(1) Do you regard her as normal or below normal in health and strength?....
(2) Is she mature or young for her years?....... 10. Has she displayed skill or interest in practical work of any kind?... 11. Do you think she will be more successful in trade work or in other kinds of work?
(Use the expressions “in trade work" and "not in trade work.") 12. Which of the following things does the girl and which do the parents wish to do?
GIRL. 1. Withdraw her from school..... 2. Place her in a local free public trade school if offered.. 3. Retain her in regular public school work....
(Write the word “Yes” on the appropriate line and in the appropriate column.) 13. If given an opportunity would she probably attend a local free public trade
school?.... 14. Economic and educational status of family:
Illness in family....
(Use terms "educated," "intelligent," "ignorant.") 15. Are her parents able to send her to a one-year course in a local free public trade
A two-year course? 16. What are her home conditions?..
(Use the terms “comfortable," "lacking in comfort," and "poor.") 17. Where, if anywhere, has she been employed?....
(Give places, if possible.) 18. What wages did she first receive?. 19. What is present wage received?.
These schedules were distributed through the public schools with instructions to the teachers for filling out questions 1 to 11 from the public school records. It was hoped that the teachers might also answer in part at least, from their general knowledge of the pupils, items 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16, with respect to pupils still in school. The schedules were then turned over to special investigators, who followed to their homes a large proportion of the pupils who had left school in the past year, in order to complete the information required by questions 11 to 19.
Experience has shown the advantage of some changes in method of attack and plan of schedule in any future study. The original plan provided for an investigation of two distinct types of children those out of school and those in school. The results obtained through the investigation seem to indicate the advisability of making each group the subject of a distinct and separate study. The statistical and intensive study of the children who have left school might best