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Mobilization of Human Resources

Robert K. Lamb
American Journal of Sociology
Vol. 48, No. 3 (Nov., 1942), pp. 323-330
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2769090
Page Count: 8
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Mobilization of Human Resources
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Abstract

Mobilizing man power for modern war, although carried through on a large scale during World War I, and in this war by our enemies and allies, remains unanalyzed; and an adequate program is lacking. The community requires reorganization around the war job. As transfer to war employment occurs, there is much temporary unemployment and dislocation. Certain centers, notably of shipbuilding and air-craft industries, are strained by the influx of workers. Other older industrial centers are approaching saturation. These cities are experiencing housing, health, and educational problems. The pattern for such migration of war workers is laid down by war contracts. Concentration of these contracts among a limited number of firms and communities is distorting the industrial map of the country. Many smaller centers are declining. Meanwhile, forecasts of future demand for war workers indicate further great shifts both within and between communities, including a large addition to the armed forces and heavy increases in women workers. Emphasis upon heavy war industries is bound to be reversed in the postwar period, with resulting dislocations accompanied also by military demobilization. Agencies created to date, including the War Manpower Commission, have not been equipped to deal with problems of this magnitude. It is proposed that an agency for subsidized training and transfer, without a means test, be established to supplement existing agencies. This agency could be made reversible and used during the post-war demobilization. It would become and adjunct of a public works program.

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