OCTOBER 2, 1936
ALBANY, N.Y.—In Albany there is one achievement under the WPA and a local committee which particularly interested me. Pool number 3 judging from my visit yesterday will be valuable to the children who have suffered from infantile paralysis during the past few years. A trained physiotherapist gives these children excercises and teaches them how to swim. Many of those I saw yesterday were doing remarkably well and had progressed in just the way I had seen children progress in Warm Springs, Georgia.
This State Conference of the Youth Administration is proving very valuable. Apprenticeship training was the subject of discussion this morning and a number of interesting points were raised. For instance, is it the responsibility of industry to equip young people to hold a job in any particular field or should this be done by vocational schools before they enter the labor market? Admittedly the New York State Vocational Industrial Schools are certainly as good as in any other State but industry considers merely as preparatory training for real apprenticeship. From the point of view of the Youth Administration this, of course, is only one phase of its interests for it embraces the whole broad field of the conditions under which youth faces the world today. The National Youth Administration is an emergency organization but it is doing work which should mean in every community integration of youth with its environment. I am coming to feel that the most important part of the work is the setting up of the advisory committees. They plan the work projects, they can survey the conditions of employment in their community, the training required, the possibilities for recreation, the general housing and sanitation and the disemination of knowledge which will bring the problems of youth close to the community and make the community familiarize their young people with what they have to offer to meet their needs.
A group of young Negroes sang some spirituals last night which were much enjoyed at the evening session and you could not help feeling that they were offering a contribution which was a particular gift of their race and could not be duplicated by any other group of young people.