The Texas Observer now has subscribers in all of the 254 counties of Texas. SPECIAL RATE: $4 for first gift subscription $3.50 for second gift subscription $3 for each additional Do you subscribe ? If notfill out the blank below. If soget a friend to fill it out ! P. S. Should you get more than one new subscriber, list them on separate sheet of paper ; careful to give name and correct address. GIVE THE OBSERVER TO A FRIEND vIP .10, .11! THE TEXAS OBSERVER Subscription Blank Please enter the following name for one year’s subscription : Name Address Mail the subscription to Texas Observer, 504 West z4th Street, Austin, Texas. TEC REPORTS Work Said Increasing Rehabilitation Called Phase of Education AUSTIN “A somewhat better than average advance was made” in Texas employment during the past twelve months, according to the Texas Employment Commission’s annual report. “The gain i n manufacturing employment was proportionately greater than in. non-manufacturing. Also the nonfarm. gain stands out in comparison with the course of farm employment, which has been adversely affected by drouth during recent years, with an undetermined reaction on nonfarm employment,” it was reported. The TEC continued: “In spite of widespread and prolonged drouth, unemployment has de creased since 1950 in contrast to the substantial increase in nonfarm employment. The ratio of unemployment to the nonfarm labor force is thus lower now than in 1950. The Texas labor supply is adequate in numbers, but it does not entirely match employer needs. There are persistent shortages in professional and skilled classifications.” The TEC report listed the following developments as the “highlights of employment commission activities:” “Nonfarm employment made more than average progress during the past twelve months, reaching a record total of 2,901,500 in August. “Jobs in Texas factories increased at a rate of 5.7 per cent compared to 3.0 percent in. nonfactory pursuits. “Transportation equipment fac tories added 10,000 jobs largely for aircraft production during the past twelve months, making a 17 percent gain to a total of 68,200. “Construction em ploy m.ent reached a high level in spite of a lag in residential building, touching a peacetime record total of 224,500 in August. `’Spread of shopping centers into fringe areas of cities helped to raise retail trade employment some 20,000 in twelve months. “Ranches and dryland farmers suffered severely from drouth, but irrigated sections produced more cotton than usual and demanded thousands of seasonal workers. “Unemployment totaling 110,200 in August represented 3.7 percent of the labor force, matching the ratio of a year earlier. “Commission . offices placed workers in more than 500,000 nonfarm jobs, women getting nearly 40 percent of them. “Farmers were helped in filling 642,300 jobs, of which 511,400 or 80 percent were for the cotton crop. Vegetable and fruit growers also received substantial help. “The Commission farm labor service guided thousands of farm workers through the crop sequence in Texas. The program also aided others to get work in the North for several months and then to return to Texas for the cotton harvest. “Unemployment insurance payments totaled $19,565,569 during the fiscal year Only 1.4 percent of the workers employed by employers covered under the Unemployment Compensation Act filed claims for insurance during the year. This was among the lowest in the Nation. The national average was 3.2 percent. “On August 31 the Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund totaled $290,388,256. During the year the Fund received from the Federal Government $6,426,794 in interest on the Fund and $1,295,707 pro rata distribution of residual Federal unemployment taxes. “Employers subject to the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act paid $25,860,027 in unemployment insurance taxes during the fiscal year. Under experience rating, estimated to have saved Texas taxpayers $89 million, the average tax rate of 0.61 percent was among the lowest in the Nation. Excluding employers not yet eligible for an experience rating and those eligible employers who pay the maximum 2.7 percent rate, the average tax rate was .291 per cent. Ninety-two per cent of Texas employers are in this latter group. “The technical services of the Commission helped both employers and job seekers to match applicahts with job openings. Aptitude and proficiency tests were administered to more than 140,000 persons in the past twelve-month period.” The TEC noted that as the fiscal .year closed Dallas was listed by the U. S. Department of Labor as an area having job ‘opportunities slightly in excess of job seekers. But Austin, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Corpus Christi, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso and Fort Worth were listed as having slightly more job seekers than job openings. Texarkana, which suffered a 6,000 drop in ordnance employment and one of 3,000 in government employment . since the peak of Korean defense needs, was listed as having a substantial labor surplus. It was reported that the average Texas factory production worker received a $4.91 weekly gain in earnings during the fiscal year. The average factory wage of production workers was $80.75 in August, 1956, compared to $75,84 a year earlier. University of Houston Sells Right-Wing Stock HOUSTON The University of Houston, which, as an educational institution, cannot legally take part in politics, is recorded as an owner of stock in the National Review in that right-wing national magazine’s most recent statement of ownership. The issue was raised recently is a faculty assembly meeting here by Dr. Clanton. Williams, academic vice president, who said the stock was willed to the university by a donor he did not know. When he said the stock had been ordered sold, he was applauded. IF YOU BUY A CAR, A HOUSE; If any of your policies expireCALL `Bow’ Williams Automobile and General Insurance 624 Lamar GR 2-0545 AUSTIN, TEXAS Represents ICT Insurance Co. and other standard stock companies tErs ABOLISH THE POLL TAX’ THE TEXAS OBSERVER Page 4 Jan. 8, 1957 pendency on familydenying or curtailing the opportunities for the children of handicapped citi zensand dependency on public charity and assistance, but also an increasing disaffection of the handicapped person from a will to work and live, “to regain lost abil ities and to learn new skills.” For the last biennium the legislature appropriated the vocational rehabilitation. program $497,000. This year TEA plans to ask for about $700,000. Brown says some groups interested in the program think this is inadequate. IN 1954 Congress decided to increase the grants to the states and to finance special projects in rehabilitation by either public or private non-profit agencies. In Texas, says Brown, this has meant several things. The most startling is the work of Ed Bridges, president of the State Society for the Mentally Retarded, who put up $15,000 of his own money to qualify a non-profit founda -tion working to rehabilitate mentally retarded boys in an experiment in Manchaca outside of Austin. The program was tried first on five such boys; all five were placed on jobs. One was trained how to take down a milking machine, clean it, and put it together again; another learned how to grade eggs, feed chickens, and clean chicken cages. All they had to learn was “just one little thing,” said Brown. There are 15 boys in the program now. Channeled through the TEA’s division are other federal funds. The rehabilitation of tuberculars is carried on in the state tuberculosis hospitals, so the federal funds for it are expended by the State Board for Hospitals and Special Schools. \(“We picked up $30-$40,000 of federal money that matches federal funds to help Good Will Industries, which use disabled workers in their San Antonio, Fort Worth, Dallas, and Waco operations. T h e federal government is also making outright grants-in-aid, without state matching funds, to Texas Tech and the University of Houston for training rehabilitation counselors and to Texas State ,College for Women at Denton for training occupational ‘therapists. J. W. EDGAR, Commissioner of Texas Education, states in the special report that while the rehab program is “humanitarian in many aspects,” it was conceived as a practical means of aiding disabled persons to become “productive workers.” The problem, he said, is not the severity of a disability, but the nature and severity of the various obstacles the disability puts between a citizen and a job. “Rehabilitation then becomes any service, skill, or increase in a handicapped person’s capability which will enable him to develop at least minimal skills in any and all areas in which the functional independence is necessary,” Edgar says. The TEA conceives of vocational rehabilitation as a “phase of public education.” Although it is obviously of interest to labor unions, it is not limited to union workers, and in fact affects few of them. Among people disabled for work are tuberculars, deaf, paraplegics, diabetics, mentally disabled, cardiacs, epileptics, orthopedically impaired, cerebral palsied, amputees, and visually impaired. In the 1955. group of 2,189 disabled people put back to work, two-thirds were men; the average age was 30. Almost half, 1032, had lost or injured limbs or suffered other orthopedic impairments; 276 had tuberculosis; 149 were hard of hearing, and 51 more were deaf; 134 had serious visual defects; 103 had mental or emotional disorders; 83 had heart disease. The other 361 had various disabilities, including speech defects, hernias, stomach ulcers, and asthma. Yet these people went into lines of work ranging from house and unskilled work to professional positions. They are now mechanics, painters, carpenters, welders, jewelry watchmakers, shoe repair men, upholsterers, dressmakers, farmers, practical nurses, beauty operators, barbers, salesmen, clerks, stenographers, bookkeeper-cashiers, office and retail managers, lab technicians, nurses, teachers, and accountants. THE FIRST STEP in the rehabilitation. is a general medical examination. Then a counselor considers the previous employment of the client, his vocational interests and abilities, his education, and the training and placement opportunities that are open to him. His social and economic environment is looked into; his family is considered. He goes through various standard tests. Thus is a complete rehabilitation plan developed for him. He often then takes a course of training in a public or private school or on the job. The counselor stays with him through this. If his physical or mental condition can be improved enough to better his chances in work, he gets medical, surgical, psychiatric, or other treatment, but it has to look definitely toward employment, and the use of public funds for it depends on the economic condition of the handicapped person. If a hearing aid, artificial arm or leg, wheel chair, brace, or other artificial body help is required, it can be provided. If a man can’t afford room and board during the training \(not uncommon, since he’s out of work be used for it. The program even provides tools and licenses when necessary to help an individual enter Self-employment or get a job. With the cooperation of the Texas Employment Commission, the counselor takes on the task of placing the disabled person. Then, for a reasonable time, the counselor checks on how he’s working out on his job. He may need more medical or surgical care or training. If the tens of thousands of people handicapped for work “are to lead reasonable, useful livesif they are to become self-supporting or useful to their families they must have some or all of the services provided through vocational rehabilitation,” says the TEA report. The program at last count had 42 counselors in the following cities \(number of counselors in parOffices are maintained in the state’s tuberculosis hospitals. At McKnight training is provided in a number of occupations; at the others, counseling and planning precedes discharge, after which a patient’s record is turned over to a vocational rehabilitation counselor in the patient’s home territory. R.D.
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