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Page 15 of Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal v.21 n.1

Part of Kentucky Negro Educational Association Journal

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trade courses at West Kentucky. Because of the limited means at our disposal, classes in sewing, domestic service, carpentry, drafting, auto mechanics, and ,ther trade classes were forced to do. their work under very crude conditions. At present, a small per cent of the approximately 226,000 Negroes in Kentucky are engaged as skilled workers. Although the number of Negro skilled workers is small, such workers have formed a vital part of the state's program of economic and industrial expansion. Through more adequate trade and industrial train- ing facilities, the Negro worker can be made a potent factor in helping the state expand its growing program of industrial development. We are strongly of the opinion that because of the small opportunities offered the Negro boys and girls of the state to learn trades, some definite movement should be made toward expanding the opportunities for industrial training of Negroes by broadening the studies and raising the standards of West Kentucky Vocational Training School to a first-class trades and training institution. According to estimates prepared by the Bureau of the Census for the year 1940, Negroes were engaged in the following occupations in Kentucky: Musicians.................. 168 Trained Nurses and Student Nurses ............................. 128 Farmers and Farm Managers ............................ 5,631 Personal Services ...................................... 125 Typists, Stenographers and Secretaries ................... 62 Bakers.......... 50 Cabinet Makers and Pattern Makers .......................... 23 Carpenters ............................................ 429 Electricians ........................................... 29 Masons ............................................... 279 Mechanics and Repairmen .............................. 825 Painters (Paper Hangers and Glaziers) ................... 490 Plasterers and Cement Finishers ......................... 417 Plumbers and Gas and Steam Fitters ..................... 140 Shoemakers and Repairers .............................. 59 Tailors and Furriers .................................... 72 Dressmakers and Seamstresses ........................... 173 Metal Workers ........................................ 8 Domestic Service Workers .............................. 25,753 Barbers, Beauticians and Manicurists .................... 474 Cooks................................................ 2,304 Practical Nurses ........................................ 305 Janitors and Porters .................................... 7,906 Laundry Operators and Laundresses ...................... 743 Total ...... ....... 46,593 In spite of the large number of Negro workers in Kentucky who are engaged in occupations requiring specialized training, there is not an institution in the state where Negro boys and girls have adequate facilities for learning the trades listed above. These facts emphasize the importance of immediate steps being taken to provide industrial training for the great number of Negro youths who will profit by this type of training. The number and scope of the trades offered at West Kentucky Vocational Training School must be considerably enlarged before the great need of indus- trial training for Negro youth of Kentucky will be adequately met. Although the increased legislative appropriation for 1950-52 will not permit complete ex- pansion of the program of the school, the future holds a very bright and encourag- ing outlook for the institution and its program. (EDITOR's NOTE: The foregoing comment by President Timberlake was presented to the State Board of Education, along with an outline of the urgent needs of the institution and a summary of his legislative appropriation request.) 15

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