« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
jurisdictions. I have no doubt that local manpower program decisionmakers will be eager to take advantage of shipyard job opportunities
in designing their operating programs. To this end, advance informa: tion on hiring needs provided by shipyard management to their
State ES and local prime sponsor would facilitate timely recruitment
and training activities and assure full consideration of shipbuilding i manning requirements in local program design.
Additionally, we shall carefully examine the testimony offered i before this subcommittee on national seapower requirements and
follow local labor market developments. If manpower stringencies in shipbuilding develop to a significant degree, within the legislative constraints mentioned earlier the Manpower Administration will
assess the retargeting of some of the title III national account funds i to establish appropriate training projects for shipyards skills, or develop more suitable program proposals.
Another program area of the DOL is our apprenticeship programs. A recent Maritime Administration study indicates that 65 percent 1 of private shipyard production employees were employed in occupations requiring a high skill level.
Ten critical skills were pinpointed in the yards surveyed: shipx fitters, welders, machinists, electricians, pipefitters, riggers, sheet I metal workers, loftsmen, boilermakers, and electronics mechanics. . All of these occupations are apprenticeable. Our Bureau of Apprenticek ship and Training will work diligently to help management and labor
expand their apprentice training efforts to help meet shipyard require5 ments for highly skilled manpower. Because of the requisite high
occupational skill level, it may be necessary to combine several types z of training—including apprenticeship-to meet more adequately t shipyard manpower needs.
As a general observation, it may be that CETA programs will be most beneficial in the preapprenticeship and institutional training
areas. However, although CĒTA funds may not be used to pay the & wages of apprentices, there are various ways in which prime sponsors
may use CETA authority and funds for apprenticeship, and apprenticeship-related activities. Prime sponsors have been advised in a technical assistance guide that they may support apprenticeship
through: I Representation on CETA manpower councils of persons knowledge
able and experienced in the establishment and administration of i apprenticeship programs;
Use of CETA funds to support employment of additional apprenticeship and training staff to be assigned to State apprenticeship agencies; e
Contracts to provide apprenticeship promotion and development services;
Reimbursement of training costs to employers for training of apprentices;
Financial or personnel support for on-job and off-job instruction for apprentices; and D
Similar support for upgrading or refresher training for workers who ( are less than fully skilled and remedial skill training for long-term unemployed workers.
Of course, each prime sponsor must determine what portion of his é allotment to use in supporting apprenticeship, as opposed to other
manpower service and activities.
Three private yards engaged in naval as well as private construction now operate major apprenticeship programs-Bath Iron Works, General Dynamics-Electric Boat Co., and Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Co. One of these companies—Newport News Shipbuilding currently has 788 apprentices working in 18 shipyard crafts. Although the larger yards operate sizable apprenticeship programs, most of the medium or smaller shipyards have either limited or no apprenticeship programs.
The Bureau of Apprenticeship, and Training in the Manpower Administration is ready to assist these private yards in developing or expanding apprenticeship programs.
The Navy, of course, has long been a leader in the use of apprenticeship training. As a Navy spokesman pointed out to the subcommittee, as of March 1974, a total of 3,786 apprentices registered at the eight naval shipyards were being training for 34 different trades. In addition to the regular apprenticeship training program, the Navy operates a special program for assisting workers who display mechanical ability but who lack sufficient educational background to qualify as apprentices. These individuals are trained through a helper-to-journeyman process that requires 5 years.
In testimony before this subcommittee, Rear Adm. R. W. Burk advanced a proposal to establish a federally sponsored program to expand apprentice training in both private and naval shipyards. Admiral Burk recommended that this proposal be referred to the National Commission for Manpower Policy as the vehicle for presenting a program for shipyard apprentice training to the Congress. The Comprehensive Employment and Training Act established the Commission to oversee general trends in employment, conduct studies, evaluate programs, and make such findings and recommendations as it sees fit. The Commission may choose to examine this particular issue, and we will, of course, share our information with them. We intend, however, to work closely with Admiral Burk to analyze the situation, develop any proposal that prove necessary, and ensure that all tools and resources now at our command are brought to bear in a coordinated way to improve training in shipyards.
In conclusion, it is clear that the Nation is faced with a problem of a long-range nature. The shipbuilding industry has in the past encountered difficulty in maintaining a qualified work force. In the face of an expanding backlog of orders for both merchant and naval vessels, this problem is expected to continue or worsen. Recruitment and training of employees therefore must be given major status as part of the total business of shipbuilding. Training programs must be carefully designed to yield skilled workers, and the flow must continue as long as ships remain to be built. The Manpower Administration stands ready to use its resources to aid in this effort.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Do you have any idea about why the cost of wages—why wages are so much lower in shipbuilding than they are in private construction?
Is there some reason for that?
They do have unions; don't they? As they have unions in the shipbuilders?
Mr. HEWITT. The unions are fairly well organized in most of the apprenticeable trades in the shipbuilding industry.
Mr. Bob Wilson. Probably steadier work than construction work.
Mr. HEWITT. There is more continuity in construction, although construction does have seasonality patterns. It, too, has its feasts and famines which would appear to be one of the principal difficulties with shipyards.
Historically, they either have a lot of work or they have down periods during which, of course, their work force can't be maintained. It is dissipated and there is difficulty recruiting them back. It takes a long time to train new workers.
Mr. BENNETT. Do you have an opinion on why there is this differential?
If you don't have one, you don't have to have it.
Mr. BENNETT. It doesn't have to be a single reason. Do you have any opinions on it at all?
I am not trying to construct a sentence that allows you to go off and say nothing
I am trying to find out facts.
Mr. HEWITT. Perhaps the industrywide collective bargaining situation in construction might have a bearing on the situation. I haven't examined the data that would relate to that.
Mr. BENNETT. In other words, do you think carpenters have a very strong union, industrywide throughout the Nation has an impact on wages?
You believe maybe that is not so with regard to shipbuilding? Is that what you said?
Mr. HEWITT. That is one possible source of the disparity between the wages in shipyards and construction for the same skills.
Mr. BENNETT. Do you have any other ideas on this at all?
Now, I noticed, on page 6 of your statement, you said how many people had registered for work.
How many openings there were, which were fewer of course and how many have been filled.
Of course, that is a declining slide. You would expect it to be. However, it is a little more dramatic than I thought. The last paragraph says 83,000 applicants for certain jobs, and 31,000 openings and 19,000 openings were filled.
Is there any way in which you can improve that, since the 31,000 jobs exist. It is a pity, only 19,000 are filled.
Could you give me a feel for that? Is that incompetent people who apply?
Mr. HEWITT. There is a certain portion of applicants that are marginally qualified or don't have the specific skills required by employers even though they fall in the general classification.
There are a certain number of jobs that are put on order that employers subsequently withdraw or cancel. However the main reason is essentially a mismatching geographically between where the workers are that apply for jobs and where the jobs are.
Those are nationwide figures, and you could have unemployed plumbers in one area, and open jobs in another area.
It is often difficult or even not in their interest as they see their interests, for the prospective employees to move.
Mr. BENNETT. Another thing that occurred to me in listening to your testimony, as illustrated in the last sentence and the middle paragraph on page 10, the last sentence on page 9:
*** If necessary the Manpower Administration will strongly encourage State and local prime sponsors to give priority to the needs of shipyards in their jurisdiction.
And in the next paragraph, you say:
If Manpower stringencies in shipbuilding develop to a significant degree, within the legislative constraints mentioned earlier, the Manpower Administration will assess the retargeting of some of the Title III national account funds to establish appropriate training projects for shipyard skills, or develop more suitable program proposals.
The distressing thing to me about this line of testimony is as soon as you leave this room, you can forget about it entirely.
We have had testimony and your Department apparently read the testimony. You know there is a shortage; yet you phrased your language in such a way that as soon as you leave this room, as far as you are concerned, you can forget about it entirely.
You say if you find all these things this will happen. We had hearings about 4 years ago about shipbuilding and similar things developed then.
We are hopeful that more immediate, urgent, and prompt action will be taken.
In other words, I would be a lot happier if I had read that you had read the testimony, which I know you have; at least, I feel from your testimony you have and that you were going to do certain specific things, because as this stands, as I say, you can forget about it. As soon as you move out of here, you forget your testimony, go back in your woodwork, bureaucracy takes over; nothing happens, 4 years later, we have another hearing, and go through it all again.
That distresses me. I am afraid it is not only appearance but reality
In other words, I think that is probably what is going to happen, unless somebody in the Labor Department does something to accept this challenge, which has been thrown out by the shipbuilders who say they have a great shortage.
I think it ought to be given more urgency.
I have heard about attempts being established, or something to look into it to do something about it.
The challenge is there from testimony we have had.
Your reaction is such that you can forget about it as soon as you leave this room, and so can the Department of Labor and I assume
Mr. HEWITT. Mr. Chairman, I hope and believe that your assumption will be proven wrong.
Mr. BENNETT. I hope so.
Mr. HEWITT. I assure you that the Department won't forget about it when I leave this room. However, let me suggest to you where we are in the manpower programs. You doubtless know, as mentioned in Admiral Burk's testimony, there was a new Manpower Act enacted last December which changes manpower programs very substantially. We believe it very materially improves the manpower programs' capacity to meet a training problem such as the one sħipbuilding faces.
We, in the Manpower Administration, have been working rather strenuously, since last December 28, to put together a completely new intergovernmental relations system for the delivery of manpower services which some have heralded as the first of special revenuesharing programs,
That system is barely getting underway. We don't think it is timely for the Department to move in and try to start ordering that system around before it has a chance to get off the ground and see how it responds.
We believe, I can assure you, and I have been involved with the manpower programs for a long time, that there isn't anything more welcome than good jobs for manpower training programs. Local prime sponsors will get their programs on line, to the extent that they know there are real jobs down the line. However, I think the Newport News Shipbuilding Drydock testimony indicated that there are frequently some uncertainties about the need for increased manpower in the future because of contract vagaries.
They have to be assured of a contract flow before they invest in developing a work force.
There was mention, as I recall, of a plan to go up to 30,000 at Newport News. That plan, the gentleman who testified indicated, would not materialize unless they could be assured there was going to be continued work to pay 30,000. They can't pay the workers unless they have the ships on the ways.
If there is stability in the work
Mr. BENNETT. He also said, he may have said all that, but he also made it pretty clear to me, and so did other shipbuilding people, that there is a deficiency in qualified people for the jobs.
Mr. HEWITT. I am sure there is.
Mr. BENNETT. Regardless of the higher level which may have sunk to lower level and the reason they anticipate there are still thousands of jobs which can be filled for work that they have.
That is what distressed me about the presentation. You are a good man. Your Department is a good department, but you know legislatois can't make the executive branch come to grips with the problem.
We can't force you to do it. It seemed to me when you know that there are jobs available, and it even affects the national defense, you would be more up tight about moving in and doing something.
You say you have a reluctance to force revenue sharing, the new revenue-sharing plan to be an effective tool in this regard.
This doesn't say to me, however, there isn't something else you can do without the revenue-sharing plan.
They never cut any money off for the Department of Labor in this field, did they?