The Girls’ Vocation Bureau, for the placement of girls and women in wage-earning employment, has been in operation about six years. At present it is under the general charge of the state and municipal employment bureau, although part of the funds for the support of the bureau is raised through private subscription. From July, 1914, to July, 1915, the Bureau secured positions for nearly 11,000 girls and women. Of these approximately 12 per cent were girls under 21. In many instances only temporary employment is secured, although efforts are made to place the girls in permanent positions. More girls are placed in office positions than in any other line of work, but a considerable proportion take employment in factories, domestic service, restaurants, and stores.
A careful record is kept of each applicant’s qualifications, home conditions, the names of employers, etc. The Bureau endeavors to keep in touch with the girls after they are placed through follow-up reports and visits by members of the office staff or by volunteer investigators.
This spring every school in the city was visited by representatives of the Bureau in the endeavor to interest principals in the work of placement, and arrangements were made for sending to the Bureau lists of the girls who were expected to leave school permanently. This effort met with slight success, as only about 100 girls were reported from all the schools in the city, although the number of girls leaving school each year from the elementary grades alone is over 2,000. In all cases the girls were visited by a representative of the Bureau and urged to return to school, or if they were determined to seek employment the advantages of registering in the Bureau were brought to their attention.
It is to be hoped that more effective cooeperation between the Bureau and the schools can be established and that plans for a placement bureau for boys similar in method and aim to the Girls’ Bureau may be realized. The matter of placement is the most difficult part of the vocational counselor’s duties, and an arrangement whereby the vocational guidance departments of the various schools might serve as feeders to a central placement bureau would probably in the long run give the best results. Both guidance and placement are new things in the public schools and efficient methods of administration can be worked out only through trial and experiment.
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
1. The future occupations of the children in school will correspond very closely to those of the native-born adult population. The occupational distribution of the city’s working population therefore constitutes the best guide as to the kinds of industrial training which can be undertaken profitably by the school system.