Approximately one-half of the total number of persons in Cleveland engaged in manufacturing are found in the metal industries. When the last federal census was taken nearly one-seventh of the entire male population was employed in establishments engaged in the manufacture of crude or finished metal products. Pittsburgh only, among the 10 largest cities in the country, has a higher proportion of its industrial population working in such establishments. In relation to its total population, Cleveland has twice as many people working in these industries as Chicago, three times as many as Philadelphia, and four times as many as New York. It is estimated that at the present time the number of wage earners in the city engaged in this kind of work is between 70,000 and 80,000.
The report deals with the three leading industries of the city,—foundry and machine shop products, automobile manufacturing, and steel works and rolling mills. The study of this last group also includes several related industries, such as blast furnaces, wire mills, nail mills, and bolt, nut, and rivet factories. About three-fourths of the total number of wage earners in the city engaged in the manufacture of metal products are found in these three industries.
The field investigations consisted of personal visits to the manufacturing establishments for the purpose of securing first hand data as to industrial conditions, and conferences with employers, superintendents, foremen, and workmen as to the need and possibilities of training for metal working occupations. In all, 60 establishments, employing approximately 35,000 men, were visited. The conclusions as to vocational training were based on an analysis of educational needs in the various metal industries, together with an extended study of the social and economic factors which condition the training of all workers. Particular attention was given to the administrative problems involved in such training in public schools.
According to the United States Census, foundries and factories making machine shop products gave employment in 1909 to nearly 18,000 Cleveland wage-earners. This industrial group ranks first in the city, employing more than twice as many workers as the next largest industry,—automobile manufacturing,—and approximately two-fifths of the total working force in all metal industries. Its growth during the previous five years, from the standpoint of number of workers employed, showed an increase of about 33 per cent, and it is estimated that the total number of wage-earners in 1914 was approximately 25,000. At the present time, due to the impetus given to this branch of manufacturing by the European war, the working force is undoubtedly in excess of this figure.