Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965

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Author: Lyndon B. Johnson  | Date: February 14, 1965

67
Statement by the President on the Nation’s First Neighborhood Youth Corps Project.
February 14, 1965

SECRETARY of Labor Wirtz has reported to me on the progress of the first Neighborhood Youth Corps project in the Nation, which has been in operation since January in Newark, N.J.

In its initial month, the project has encouraged and heartened all of those associated with it. The 348 boys and girls now enrolled were out of school and out of work. They are now working, performing valuable social services in the city government. Over 180 have enrolled at night school. The project directors have reported a unanimous expression of new confidence and of new determination on the part of the enrollees.

There can be no more personal pain or more bitter feeling than the shock that comes to a young child when he first realizes that all of his dreams and ambitions are someone else’s property.

The program in Newark, like the other NYC projects now opening across the country, not only conditions an untried skill for employment but restores a forlorn hope. Not only the opportunity for work but the basis for self-respect is being provided.

The war against poverty is, in the last analysis, the struggle for human decency and independence. This report is an early indication that we can succeed in this best of all efforts.

NOTE: Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz’s report, released with the President’s statement, was in the form of a memorandum. Mr. Wirtz reported that the total cost of the Newark project was $520,000, of which $465,000 was a Federal contribution. Of the first 240 enrollees, he said, only 10 had dropped out at the end of the first month of the program and 2 of those returned to school.

Some of the jobs which were being done by the enrollees were listed in the memorandum, as follows: Of the 112 in the City Hospital and at the IvyHaven Home (for the aged), most of the girls were nurses aides, 8 enrollees were working in the pathology laboratory and 5 were in the dietary department.

There were 27 boys and girls working in the library, the museum, the neighborhood conservation and rehabilitation department, and other offices of the mayor. Others were working in city offices such as city planning, finance, personnel, and treasury.

Thirteen of the boys were working as linesman’s helpers for the Police and Fire Department communication lines.

Thirty of the boys were working in the Motor Department learning the maintenance and repair of vehicles.

In general, Neighborhood Youth Corps enrollees might be found helping to care for the sick, doing routine clerical duties, learning to draft maps and charts, assisting mechanics in garages, helping field engineering teams, and working in kitchens and laboratories.

Secretary Wirtz’s memorandum stated that the following conclusions were warranted as a result of the Newark project:

"1. The Neighborhood Youth Corps can provide the kind of special, interested attention that schools often cannot provide.

"2. Work with the Neighborhood Youth Corps does stimulate a desire to return to school ....

"3. Neighborhood Youth Corps enrollees perform in their jobs with interest and effectiveness."

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Chicago: Lyndon B. Johnson, "67 Statement by the President on the Nation’s First Neighborhood Youth Corps Project.," Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1168 185. Original Sources, accessed July 12, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4Z866J4T4MJYZPQ.

MLA: Johnson, Lyndon B. "67 Statement by the President on the Nation’s First Neighborhood Youth Corps Project." Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1168, page 185. Original Sources. 12 Jul. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4Z866J4T4MJYZPQ.

Harvard: Johnson, LB, '67 Statement by the President on the Nation’s First Neighborhood Youth Corps Project.' in Public Papers of Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.1168, pp.185. Original Sources, retrieved 12 July 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4Z866J4T4MJYZPQ.